There was a question asked in Revelation 6:17 for the great day of his wrath is come and who shall be able to stand? Part of this question is answered in Nahum Chapter One for one example as there are many scriptures detailing Gods great vengeance against His enemies and His mercy on those who are called by His name having the seal of God on them, Ephesians 4:30. Let’s move on into greater detail as who these are that have Gods seal upon them with the explanation of the 144,000 Jews and the great multitude of Gentiles that could not be numbered.
John is given another vision after these things, meaning after the first six seals that are revealed to him. He now sees four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of the earth in order that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree until Gods servants were sealed. of Dan and Ephraim as they fell to idol worship and allowed God to be removed from them, Judges 18:30; 1 Kings12:25-33; Hosea 5:9, 11;Psalms 78:9-17, 65-67.
These servants are the generational 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel, except for the tribe To keep it twelve tribes since Dan and Ephraim are not mentioned in vs. 4-8 the tribe of Joseph appears twice, once under his own name and once under the name of his son Issachar/Manasseh. Judah is mentioned first as Messiah was to come from the lineage of David.
When studying the history of the twelve tribes of Israel being the sons of Jacob/Israel we find from 1047 B.C. and 931 B.C. the twelve tribes were under the leadership of three Kings, Saul, David and Solomon. Near the end of Solomon’s reign he fell into idolatry and God spoke of tearing apart the Kingdom as judgment for these sins, 1 Kings 11:10-12.
After Solomon’s death his son Rehoboam became King and those ten Northern tribes (Israel/Ephraim) rebelled against King Rehoboam and followed after Jeroboam up North causing a division of the north and south Kingdom. Only the tribe of Judah (Judah) and the tribe of Benjamin (Judah) stayed Loyal to King Rehoboam in the southern Kingdom for they kept Gods commandments as they knew David was the lineage of the promised Messiah as it was prophesied of the prophets of God. For almost two centuries the two Kingdoms where divided, but a remnant of the ten tribes soon came back to Judah after following Jeroboam as he turned the northern Kingdom into idol worshipers.
This is the importance of the 144,000 of the house of Israel and their generations unto the end of days. There were those of the old covenant that were faithful to God in keeping all his commandments and repented of their idol worshipping. Their generations who have also come back to Gods grace that are still alive during the seven trumpet sounds will continue to preach to the Jews as it was with the twelve disciples in Matthew 10:6. The generations of the 144,000 that are still alive have the seal of God on them which are the seven Spirits of God as they will have to endure much persecution until the end of days before the return of Jesus.
Seven Spirits of God are found in Isaiah 11:2 and mentioned in Rev 1:4.Spirit of the Lord, wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and fear/respect of the Lord.
After John understands who these servants are that needed to be sealed of God were Jews he is now shown a great multitude of Gentiles from all over the world that stand before the throne of God and before Jesus. They are clothed in white robes and have palms in their hands. They are exclaiming that Salvation is of God that sits on the throne and unto the Son of God being the scarified Lamb, Psalms 3:8.
In John’s vision the elder was asking John if he had understanding of those which are in white robes and how they came to be there. John did not recognize them as being Jews and asked the elder to explain who they are and where did they come from. The elder reveals to John these are they who have come out of great tribulation being Gentiles that have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and were baptized and received the Holy Spirit as the Jews have received.
John had to understand this in order to write this to the seven churches. Jews were always taught that the Gentiles were an unclean evil people full of idol worshipping and in no way could they be worthy of anything of God including his love. Jew’s were not allowed to associate with the Gentiles in fear they too would fall to their idol worshipping like they did when they followed after Jeroboam. The twelve Disciples were only allowed to go to the nations of Israel to preach, Matthew 10:5-7, but Peter was shown in a vision that the Gentiles were not unclean as they too needed to repent and come to God for his salvation.
Peter was summoned of God to go to the house of Cornelius, but to only preach for a short time as the door of salvation by faith was always opened to the Gentile, but it would be in Paul’s timing to walk through that door to preach to them, Acts Chapters 10, 11; Acts 22:21. Before Paul fully started teaching and baptizing many of them all they could do was get bits and pieces of Gods teachings by standing out side of the synagogues hearing the Prophets that spoke and mingling into the crowds that followed Jesus.
There is no difference between Jew or Gentile in the eyes of God as he created all people equal and is no respecter of person as Peter found out, Acts 10:34, 35. Galatians 3:26-29 says we are all children of God by faith. This faith in God started with Adam, but he lost his Spiritual fellowship with God when he chose to disobey Gods commands and needed to repent so the same with every generation from the time of Adam until the return of Jesus need to repent of their disobedience in order to have Gods promise of life eternal with him.
The terms Gentile and Jew were derived from nations and their cultures. Abraham is referred to as a Hebrew in Genesis 14:13. Hebrew means one from beyond and is derived from Eber (or Heber, Strong’s no. 5676) meaning the region beyond the Euphrates. The term Hebrew also is taken to mean to pass or to cross over. Abraham crossed over the River Euphrates to get to the land of Canaan, from Chaldea. Abraham was a Chaldean not a Jew.
The term Jew came from Abraham’s Great Grandson Judah in whom the land given to him was called Judea and the people called Judeans. The word Jew is a short term version of Judean and has nothing to do with race, but only that of a culture of people. The word Gentile is of Latin origin and means nations or foreigners meaning those who were born before Abraham. Abraham is our example of Gods faith as in the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and to all nations, Romans 9:24-28, as no man is justified by the law in the sight of God as the just will live by faith, Galatians 3:11-13. The new covenant of grace is that of the promises Messiah now come that has redeemed us from the curse of the law being made the final blood sacrifice for the atonement of all men’s sin.
We have to remember these are visions given to John in his time to give to the seven churches to teach them of those things which have to come first before the return of Jesus. Before we start our study of the last seal that leads into the seven trumpets there are certain things that need to be clarified and understood. According to John 3:13; Ecclesiastics 12:7; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 there has never been anyone taken up to heaven, not even Enoch as he was taken by God, but does not say where he was taken, Genesis 5:24. The same with Elijah who was caught up in a whirlwind to the first heaven that is atmosphere not the heaven where God sits on his throne, 2 Kings 2:11, as several years after he was taken away in the whirlwind King Jehoram received a letter from him.
Enoch, Elijah and all the others before and after them that have faith in God and have kept his witness and testimony are all asleep in the grave as it is only our spirit that is taken up to God as he reserves it until the time when Jesus returns in the air.
The elder is trying to explain to John that those in the vision before the throne of God that are wearing white robes are Gentiles that have come from other nations that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. These are the generations that Paul first taught in Acts 22:21 as he was commissioned of God to go to the gentile nations. They have come out of great tribulation that the world has not seen yet as they kept the witness and testimony of the word of God as they went about preaching to those during the time of Gods final wrath on earth as we will see in our study of the seven trumpets and the two witnesses.
This is speaking of the end of time after earth and heaven (atmosphere) have been purified from all the abominations that has caused much desolation (sin) in the world and then at that time will the heaven and earth be restored and the New Jerusalem ushered down from God where we will have eternal life with the Father.