THE SAVED OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD


Revelation (Chapter 7)

AIM

To teach that God will see that multitudes will be saved during the tribulation period and that God will use some specific Jews to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

POINT OF CONTACT

Will people be saved after the Rapture? What is the Rapture? Some people’s eternal doom will be sealed at the Rapture (II Thessalonians 2). But many will be saved during the Tribulation. Chapter seven reveals this truth to us.

INTRODUCTION

We have seen six of the seven seals broken and great things occurring on the earth. Before the breaking of the seventh seal, an interlude occurs to make sure of the salvation of a great company of people before the most ferocious and intense part of the Tribulation occurs. Our chapter today teaches us of two major groups of saints in the Tribulation period.

I. The Vision of the Four Angels (verses 1-3)

Verse 1 — "After these things" — After the first six seals are broken. These four angels are agents of God who are active during the tribulation. They hold back the physical winds of nature, which are judgments of God upon the earth, until the two great companies of the redeemed (of this chapter) are sealed and made secure. This is the lull before the breaking of the storm. In chapter eight, the storm breaks with all its fury.

The Wind fulfills the will of God (Psalm 148:8). Scientists have discovered there are four corners to the earth. Note: We ought to thank God for the wind that benefits us so. God could stop it anytime!

Verses 2 and 3 --Another angel is a fifth angel with a higher rank than the four, for he gives them orders.

With frightful and fearful judgment ready to break upon the earth, it is necessary to seal and secure the servants of God — so that they would be preserved from the wrath of Satan and from the terrible scourges of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:13-17; Matthew 24:21,22). Note: God loves His servants and cares for them as a loving Father (Psalm 121).

Exactly what is the seal in the forehead cannot be asserted. Though Scripture does not describe it, it evidently is in contrast to the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16,17).

II.The Sealing of the Twelve Tribes (verses 4-8)

Verse 4 — Actually and literally 144,000 Jews will be sealed at this time. 12,000 from each tribe of Israel except Dan and Ephraim. Both of these tribes were guilty of going into idolatry (Deuteronomy 29:18-21; Judges 18:20; Hosea 4:17).

The tribe of Dan will be given top priority in the Millennium (Ezekiel 48) indicating that it will be preserved thru the tribulation without being sealed which reveals the great grace of God. Levi takes the place of Dan in the count of those sealed. Ordinarily the priestly tribe was not numbered with the evangelists.

Ephraim was the tribe which led in the division of the kingdom (I Kings 11:26). Joseph takes the place of Ephraim. Ephraim’s place is also restored during the Millennium (Ezekiel 48:5).

Sealing speaks of ownership, protection, and approval. These specific individuals are in all probability already saved at this time. Saved through tracts and Bibles that were left behind at the Rapture. Jews today do not know of what tribe they belong but God knows and He will set them apart and seal them at this appointed time. They will be especially protected so they will be unhurt through the terrible events to follow. They will preach, as Paul, the Gospel to the millions of people living who never heard the Gospel before the Rapture (Matthew 24:14).

There are today about one billion people on the earth that have not heard of Jesus Christ and many, many more who have never heard the plan of salvation. So these 144,000 will have multitudes to work with and offer the opportunity to be saved.

There will also be other Jews saved but they will not be sealed and many will die martyrs’ deaths and give up their lives for the faith.

You will note that these 144,000 are still alive and protected in chapter 14:1 which is just before the end of the tribulation period.

Verses 5-8 — The meaning of the names of these tribes are noteworthy:

1. Judah.................................................Praisers of God

2. Reuben..............................................Looking to the Son

3. Gad...................................................A Company (of)

4. Aser..................................................Blessed Ones

5. Nepthalim..........................................Wrestling With

6. Manasses...........................................Forgetfulness

7. Simeon...............................................Hearing and Obeying

8. Levi...................................................Cleaving To

9. Issachar.............................................A Reward (of)

10. Zabulon............................................A Home and A Dwelling Place

11. Joseph..............................................Adding

12. Benjamin...........................................Sons at God’s Right Hand

Read down and find the purpose of these Jews.

III. The Great Multitude of the Tribulation Seen in Heaven (verses 9 and 10)

After the sealing of the 144,000 Jews, John looked to a heavenly scene and saw a multitude of people — so many that no man could number. These had been saved on earth during the Tribulation and now were in Heaven singing praises to God. Some of the greatest days of God’s salvation are in the future. These will come from every corner of the earth. These evidently are for the most part Gentiles. Note: This points up another fact to consider. God loves those behind the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo curtain, and in the jungles of the world. They will not be reached for Christ until the Tribulation; hence, because of God’s great love for them, the Rapture could occur any moment.

White Robes typify the righteousness of Christ with which they are clothed.

Palm Branches — This came from the Old Testament Feast of Trumpets — when the people after Harvest, carried palm leaves in the hands and worshiped God in booths as a time of rejoicing; hence, these saints are rejoicing because of their salvation.

IV. The Praise of the Heavenly Host (verses 11 and 12)

This is a stupendous scene of universal worship of God by His creatures, joining the great company of Jews and Gentiles saved during the Tribulation.

Notice that these creatures praise God for His attributes and goodness, but not for salvation — they are sinless creatures, not redeemed sinners.

Note: This reminds us that there is joy in the presence of God when a sinner is saved (Luke 15:10). We ought to be winning souls and thereby bringing rejoicing constantly to Heaven.

V. The Great Multitude Identified as Tribulation Saints (verses 13 and 14)

They are identified as redeemed Gentiles who have come out of the Great Tribulation, redeemed by the blood of Christ. God has only one way to save people: that is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 1:7; Acts 16:30,31).

VI. The Heavenly Bliss of the Tribulation Saints (verses 15-17)

These had, during the Tribulation, hungered, thirsted, and cried, but, NOW, Jesus would tend to them and they would NEVER AGAIN suffer. Won’t Heaven be wonderful!

CONCLUSION

Yes, the Tribulation will be a little bit of hell on earth. But you do not have to endure it. Neither do our friends. Let us win them to Christ before it is too late.


QUESTIONS

1. Will some people’s destiny be sealed at the Rapture?

2. Will people be saved after the Rapture?

3. About how many people have never heard of Jesus?

4. Chapter seven occurs between which seals?

5. Is the 144,000 a literal number?

6. How many will come from each tribe?

7. Which two tribes are not named and why?

8. What does sealing mean?

9. Will any of the 144,000 die during the Tribulation?

10. What will the 144,000 do during the Tribulation?

11. What reason did we glean from this chapter as to why Jesus might return for His saints at any moment.

12. What do the white robes typify?

13. What is the significance of the saints having palms in their hands?

14. Why will Heaven be so wonderful to these Tribulation saints?