Christian Churches of God
The Seven Seals
(Edition 3.0 19951109-20000825-20071027)
This paper deals with the seven seals of Revelation and explains their meaning. The development of the seals over the last two thousand years is examined and the sequence up to the return of Messiah is given. This process culminates in the seventh seal, which is in fact the seven trumpets.
The Seven Seals
Note: This paper should be read in conjunction with the audio tape.
A chart showing the sequence is appended to paper The Seven Trumpets (No. 141). The work on the time-frames covers the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets. This chart was produced about 1985, actually, to show it was impossible for Jesus Christ to come before 1997 and that the structure of the three and one half years of the place of safety was wrong. There were a number of alternatives. His Advent could have been 1997 or 1999 at the earliest, or any time after that. The chart shows that there are seven seals, which are broken down to the seventh trumpet and seven vials of the wrath of God. They are interspersed with the Witnesses and there are three alternatives for the take-up of the Witnesses, interspersed with the period called the Time of Jacob's Trouble. Many people assume that they can ignore, condense, or put this in a box. We cannot get to the Millennium until we go through this sequence. This is prophecy and will not be broken. We cannot do away with it and we cannot hide from it.
All of the things that occur in the vials of the wrath of God, and the seventh trumpet, are all avoidable. There is nothing in Revelation in those areas that needs to take place. We can avoid it, and the planet doesn’t avoid it because of the first seal, which is false religion. False religion preceded Christ. Christ is not the first seal, but he set in motion the conflict firstly from Sinai, and secondly from his advent and his destruction. Satan set in motion false religion from the day that he caused the fall of Adam by undermining the position of Eve.
Let us look at the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, found at Revelation Chapter 6. Revelation 6 says:
"and I saw when the lamb opened one of the seven seals and I heard one of the four living creatures say as with a voice of thunder, Come, and I saw a white horse and its rider had a bow, and a crown was given him and he went out conquering and to conquer".
The concept is that the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is opening the seals. The first seal was broken a long time ago. These seals are not opened at the time of the end. This first seal continues to develop all the way through the 2,000 years, and each seal is exponential. They open and stay open and develop. Each adds to the other. The first seal, called conquest, is actually commenced from false religion. It commenced from the concepts of the Church, and those organisations and institutions set up under false religions. Because it is through the difference of opinion that we get division, the greatest dividing factor is the organisational structure of the planet based upon the divisions between Christ and the loyal Host, and Satan and the fallen Host. That division has manifested itself in the planet in the forms of religion – the whole structure of the religions of this planet reflect the wars in the heavens. Nothing is accidental. Satan has set up a mind-set among the people and the nations.
The concept of the replacement of Satan by Christ is the replacement of the religious structure of this world, its government and its systems, by another system of government. See the paper The Government of God (No. 174).
The Lamb is the one who sets the process in motion by instituting on the planet the true Faith: the word of God. It's not something that was set and broken down. Satan was and is the Morning Star of this planet. Christ is the one who, having been sacrificed, qualified to overcome and replace Satan as the Morning Star at his second coming. He despatched the truth into the planet through the prophets and patriarchs and finally in person.
The true religion takes hold and people are then marshalled against it by the fallen Host. This will ultimately reflect itself in all the nations marching against Jerusalem at the Advent of Christ in the Last Days. This process of false religion logically follows into the next or second seal of war.
Revelation 6:3-4 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (KJV)
The first seal started off and Satan launched an attack on the Church producing Gnosticism from its Alexandrian base. He put Gnosticism over the Mystery Cults, and the Roman Curial system, which was a pagan system. There were Cardinals in Rome long before Christ was born and they were dressed in red, and they wore hats. There were virgins in Rome long before Christ was born, and the virgins were part of the system at the Temple of Vesta. They had a curial system with these Cardinals who were the college of Pontiffs. These religious officials ran the state. It is not a Christian system. That structure became part of this lynch pin of Satan’s false system.
The Greco-Roman system based on Platonism and its doctrine of government had to adopt the doctrines that Christ espoused in order to twist them; so false religion then emerged. In order to establish the Greco-Roman system they had to produce the doctrines of the councils. The Cappodician fathers produced a concept of God based on the Council of Nicaea, which firstly resulted in Binitarianism, and which is not the doctrine of the Church. Binitarianism is a product of the Catholic Church from the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. It was the necessary step for the introduction of Trinitarianism at Constantinople in 381 CE.
The first seal resulted in the divisions that we saw come out of the Councils of the fourth and fifth century. The Council of Elvira, in 300 CE, commenced to take away the Sabbath. The Council of Nicaea, in 325 CE, altered the structure of the Godhead and introduced the concepts that Jesus Christ was co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father. They did not then deal with the Holy Spirit. They were successful for two years. However, the Emperor Constantine realised that the Athanasians, now called the Catholics, were only powerful when centred on Rome and some other areas. The real power in the Empire was with the Unitarians incorrectly called Arians, who were subordinationists. Other Unitarian bishops were exiled along with Arius (Arianism was a misnomer; see the paper Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81)). They were Unitarian subordinationists. There are a number of nations who became subordinationists. These bishops were recalled and reinstated and had ecclesiastical power. See the papers Arianism and Semi-Arianism (No. 167) and The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268).
The difference between their administrative structures was that one was nationally based and the other imperially based. The Athanasians wanted world government and are still working towards that end.
Constantine initially thought at the time that the one that wanted world power was the strongest, but it wasn't. The process that started the Athanasian wars was not very well documented, or publicised, because the Catholics write the history books. A history of the Arian wars is outlined in the paper Mysticism Chapter 4 Judeo-Christianity (No. B7_4).
For the process of how the Babylonian system established itself and took over the planet, as Christ said it would see the paper Mysticism Chapter 1 Spreading the Babylonian Mysteries (No. B7_1).
The Just War Theory (see the paper Theory of the Just War (No. 110)) is a process of that Athanasian mentality. These wars became entrenched in our society. We had, for the first time, concepts of religious wars. The rise of Islam under the prophet Mohammed was a direct result of Trinitarianism. Mohammed commenced to preach purely to obviate the Athanasian Trinitarian doctrines he saw as a heresy, and to unify the Arab people under Monotheism. The Koran groups Christians with two sets of names – People of the Scripture and Christians generally. These distinctions are now lost because modern Christians do not understand the distinctions extant at the time. The distinctions involved the Trinitarians who fought against Islam and the persecuted Pergamum Church, which allied with Islam.
These false religious structures were all geared at trying to undermine the expansive influence of the original Sabbath-keeping Church. We have had converts in the millions. The Inquisitions were instituted solely to get rid of the Original Church, and to maintain power for the Trinitarians. The reason they can’t is because God will not let them do away with the Bible. While it exists anyone who can read can have his or her mind opened by the Holy Spirit.
These seals became exponential. The Islamic/Christian wars developed right through to the Ottoman Turk system. There was always a division between Islam and Christianity, and Islam and the eastern systems. There was a buffer system set up in Russia under the Khazar Jewish Empire, where the tribes of the Ashkenaz and other groups converted to Judaism in 740 CE. It was a political decision. If they became Islamic, then the border would have moved on to their western system, and they would have been the frontier of the war between Christianity and Islam.
If they became Christians they would have been the border of Islam on the eastern front. So they would have been at war no matter what they did. It is probable that they became Jewish because it was a centrepiece. In the end they were destroyed as an Empire and went into Europe. But they were absorbed into the tribes of Judah by rabbinical influence. They were given rabbis and were added to the sons of Abraham. However, these divisions and wars continued all the way through to the present, ending in the Holocaust. They are not just a factor of the Last Days. These things started up centuries ago and continued, and relate to the persecutions. The result of war was pestilence because of the dislocations in society; hence the third seal was opened.
These seals are ongoing and they develop, war to pestilence, to famine and then to death. The fourth seal is an ongoing thing, and they compound one another.
The fifth seal of the Great Tribulation has two aspects to it. It was opened when these religious wars were started. However, when the Athanasian system was finally entrenched, it started off a group, or sequence of tribulations we understand from biblical prophecy as the 1,260 years. Now that 1,260 years went from 590 CE through to 1850 and marks the end of the Holy Roman Empire, which is now disbanded. However, that fifth seal has a latter-day application.
See the paper The Pre-Advent Judgment (No. 176).
Revelation 6:5-6 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (KJV)
The end result of pestilence is famine and shortage, and the measuring out of food portions, in scarcity. The concept of harming oil and wine has a spiritual significance. The oil is the Holy Spirit; the drink offerings of the Lord are the elect. We are poured out as a drink offering to the Lord. That has a significance of protection of the elect during the entire phase of the Seals. So we were to go through tribulation and martyrdom, but as drink offerings to the Lord for specific religious purposes.
Revelation 6:7-8 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (KJV)
This develops as a quarter of the Earth is finally subjected to this destruction. It is not just saying that they engage in a war. It builds up until the Last Days. The Trumpets and the Vials show these things will be occurring. We know what these sequences of events are. This planet is run by a perverted mind, Satan. We are dealing with demons that are trying to stop the implementation of God’s Plan.
We have to be aware of that and know what is happening. Our place of safety is the faith in the Lord, and in knowing what He is doing, and knowing that God is in charge; it is happening for the right reasons, and that it is going to work out. Scripture is unfolding before our eyes.
The Tribulation under the fifth seal has been reorganised as at the Feast of Tabernacles 1993. At that Feast it was effectively re-announced, or re-opened, through the new Papal Encyclical. The elect are facing increasing persecution. The writer, Morris West publicly exposed the whole matter of the encyclical. He said that it re-establishes the grounds for the Inquisition.
Revelation 6:9-10 "When he opened the fifth seal I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and witness they had borne and they cried out with a loud voice Oh, Sovereign Lord, Holy and True, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?"
This is the first of two aspects. Each were given a white robe and told to wait a little longer until the number of their fellow servants and brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves were killed. The concept is that those people were in two lots. Some of the brethren were slain for the word of God and the witness they had borne and they cried out (see above). So they are waiting. They were under divine protection, but they were allowed to die.
The fact is not that they are alive and talking to God, but that their blood cries out, while they lie there, under the altar, waiting for the First Resurrection. It is a comment to Christ as a rhetorical question: "Surely you're in charge, why do we have to die?"
Why did they die? It is clear. It was because of the word of God and the witness they bore. We are under divine protection, however, some of the elect have to become martyrs of the Faith in order to serve as witnesses to the world. Already many of the elect have died and many others have died with them. Once false religion is set up, leaving the word of God, and things are re-interpreted, animosities and hatreds follow. Then repression and persecution follow.
The last Inquisition occurred in the Papal States between 1823 and 1846. The former Jesuit historian, Malachi Martin, has written at length on the issue, in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Church (pp. 254-255). The sequence is that, from 1823, they got to the point where they had a gallows in every town, with 200,000 people, in these Papal States, sentenced to the galleys (death), or life imprisonment. All sorts of people were taken up in it; political dissidents, etc. Mostly, it was geared to eliminate the people who were established there under the Thyatiran Era who were against the Catholic system. In the end, it brought about the destruction of the Catholic system itself under the 1,260 years, which finished in 1850. It was broken down because people could not bear it. They took a plebiscite in 1850 as to who wanted to remain in the Papal States or come into Rome's Republic. 1,505 people wanted to remain in the papal state system, and everyone else (132,681) voted to get rid of them, because they wanted nothing more to do with the Roman Catholic political system of Church government.
That is the prophecy being fulfilled of the Beast turning on the whore. It turns on the whore again in the final days and destroys it completely. However, the 1,260 years ended with the Beast turning on the whore and destroying its power. It was accomplished in part by Napoleon when he came to power in 1806. He disbanded the Papal States of the Holy Roman Empire. He was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and sent into exile, and when he was murdered it was re-established. In 1815 the Holy Roman Empire was re-established as a new system, and by 1823, only eight years later, when the Roman Catholic Church was back in power, in the areas they could physically control, they had again set up the Inquisition.
There is a challenge for world supremacy. There are three facets of this false religious structure establishing. One is a European centered system for which Rome is trying to gain control. Another one is a secular system which the United States thinks it can control. From that system this internationalist economy will seek to operate. The third system is an Asian system which is developing now. We will call it in biblical terms ‘the union of the kings of the Easts’. The words in Revelation are anatoli helios, which means Kings of the Rising Sun, not kings of the East. However, it will be centered on the Eastern China complex with Japan.
That was within eight years, putting 1.5 million people under political surveillance. The structure of the mentality of this fifth seal is all consuming. In the Last Days, as it says:
Revelation 6:11 … "when they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer for the number of their fellow servants and brethren should be complete who were to be killed as they themselves had been killed."
This white robe is of martyrdom.
Revelation 3:14-22 "And to the angel of the church in La-odice'a write: `The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. 15 "`I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.)'" (RSV)
This Laodicean system is in fact part of the system of the Last Days. When we read the promises to the Churches in Revelation we will see that there are four churches extant at the coming of the Messiah. Three are gone and there are four in existence: Thyatiran, Sardis, Philadelphia and Loadicean, in the order that it is given. The white garments are the same white garments these people were given, who were slain for the word of God and testimony they bore. The Laodiean Church values nothing and thinks it’s rich. It will go through the fire of purification so that some of its number might be saved.
There is a promise to the Philadelphian Church and it says,
Revelation 3:11-12 I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. The RSV then says: Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God.
But the KJV says: he shall no more go out.
The Interlinear says: “he shall no more go out”. Philadelphians are put into a situation where they are forced out of congregations which hold to be the Temple of God, because they hold fast to what they had. They don't have the weakness that the Laodicean Church goes through. They keep to the word of God, develop and grow in strength. They are made pillars in the Temple of God.
They are the central columns which hold the Temple in place. Steel rods are put right through the pillars, forming the basis of the support structure of the Temple. The reason they are pillars is because they are stronger; they are the support. Understanding is central. One is not Philadelphian because of the name of one’s church, but because of what one does and says. It is the truth that protects us.
Revelation 3:10 says:
… because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming to the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth.
This has been taken to mean there is a place of safety. This whole comment of a place of safety does not mean people are going to be put anywhere in one place where nobody is going to know where they are. It is simply a fact that we have God's hand put on us. The Laodicean Church in the Last Days is faced with a series of problems because it is not willing to stand for the truth. It finally has to be spewed out into the Second Resurrection.
The hour of trial comes after Messiah comes. What this means is that we will be with Messiah at his Advent.
There is a group put out of the synagogue and they are dealt with. They vote with their feet – a small group. They are kept from the hour of trial. There is no guarantee that any of these people are not going to have to pay with their lives for the Faith of God. Nobody is going to give us a guarantee that we will not face persecution. Nobody but God and Jesus Christ knows what we are, what's inside us and what we can sustain or bear. We are tried by fire.
What we have to do is prepare ourselves to deal with the whole concept. There are a number of promises to different churches. For example, if we look at Revelation 2:24 there's a promise to the Thyatirans. They have great works in the beginning and end, and the last works are greater than the first. They bore the brunt of 1,260 years of persecution. A large number of martyrs were taken out over that period. The rest of you in Thyatira who do not hold to this doctrine (of sacrificing food to idols) who have not learned the deep things of Satan...only hold fast till I come... The Thyatiran era will be alive in the Last Days, and are our brethren over in Europe. Christ is not laying any great burden on them again. They've already been through the Stalinist persecutions. They have been through the 1,260 years and have been persecuted for a long time. Tribulation has been put on them for hundreds of years.
If we are not prepared to sacrifice for Jesus Christ then we have no part in him. There was only one Apostle who wasn't martyred, namely John. He was the only one and that was so he would write the Book of Revelation. It was so that we would know what was to come upon us in the Last Days. There are no smooth things to hear.
We have to understand what is happening in this sequence. Israel will go through the time of Jacob's Trouble. We will flee, city to city, and our people will not have completed running through the cities of Israel till the son of man comes (Mat. 10:23). That's a key text. The idea of running through the cities of Israel tells us there is a nation on the move. There are refugees, etc. Discouragement is Satan's weapon. He uses it against us, especially when we are given a smooth scenario like a place of safety. When we finally endure persecution, and endure these things written for us, we become discouraged.
There is no soft solution. We have a job to do under these systems. From this follows tribulation, when we finally get to the point. The real aim of Satan is to do away with the elect.
The reason the Church is fragmented is because God has put people in different places, to stop the work being inhibited in the Last Days. Satan wants to stop the elect, because the elect are the nucleus, the backbone, in the Millennium. The only thing that we really know is that Christ will protect us; for the righteous, their bread and water will be sure.
The elect are the only reason for Christ's intervention on the planet. The elect go beyond the 144,000; beyond the Great Multitude to the nation and the concepts of Israel, the physical groups that are destined by God to form part of His system. Note the Olivet prophecies. Except for the elect’s sake, this whole world would be allowed to perish. Christ intervenes in order that none of those people in the Plan of God, even down the road to the end of the Millennium, are prejudiced. God has already determined who is going to be called and at what stage. It is not God’s will that any flesh should perish and that tells us that no flesh will perish. Christ will intervene because of the elect. He won't let one of the elect suffer any harm unless it serves God’s purpose. If we suffer any harm at all, we know it is because Christ can use us and our strengths to be witnesses to God's system. Everyone is strong. All do something as a witness in some way and work through the system. The whole world is deceived. There are a multitude of churches at the moment, most of which have rapture doctrines, where one gets raptured up to Heaven when Christ comes, and everyone else is going to be destroyed except the believer, because they are part of the great "elect system".
We are all God’s people. The elect are a small nucleus within God’s people, who are a further elect. Everything that happens to our people is part of this ongoing sequence through to the end of the seventh seal. The seventh seal ends at the end of the seventh trumpet, which is the end of the seven vials of the wrath of God. It is a complete sequence.
The elect do not stand apart from the nation. The elect without the nation is an elitist concept.
The example of Moses at Sinai is relevant. He put himself in front of the Angel of the Lord, to offer himself to be killed in order that his people might be saved.
That is our example. We have to pray, fast and work together on a continual basis to save these people. God calls us out in order that we prepare ourselves. We have to clean our minds of the worldly systems. Literally tear out of our minds the things that pollute it. We are holy to the Lord and must not be entertained by the world's systems of entertainment. It alters our minds, rendering us ineffective to sacrifice to the Lord. We cannot indiscriminately expose ourselves to concepts, videos, etc. which attack the very spiritual structure we are trying to build up. View TV carefully, if that is even now possible. If we don't, we will render ourselves unfit to sacrifice to the Lord.
This great Tribulation will go through all of the elect, which is all of Israel. The whole aim is to destroy our spirituality, or relationship with God, because we are all the chosen people. It is a matter of when each is called and judged. That nation is a holy people and we are set apart to be priests to God. Our job is to get the nation to the point where they understand they are a holy people, that there is going to be trouble and that there is no soft option. We have to humble ourselves before God.
A soldier relies on military force and thinks in military terms. That is an unconverted thought process. The natural carnal reaction is to fight people. Moses didn't do that. Moses was a general and he took his people into a position no general would have ever taken his force. Moses took them to Pi-ha-hiroth. They couldn't cross the sea; there were no boats, no withdrawal, no capacity to form and reorganise an inadequate force with which to meet the Egyptian army. No general, or even a corporal, in the world would have done that. However, it was done in order to show our reliance is not on might or power, but rather on the Spirit of God. That is why the most powerful nations of Israel will be dealt with first. Judah, now among the weakest of the tribes, is saved first (Zech. 12:1ff.).
It seems that the Holy Spirit is going to break the power of the nations. People are used through the Spirit of God, to show the strong through the weak that God is in charge.
Why do we think that Moses put the Israelites in that position, with war chariots coming down on them? Moses didn't say: "Form three ranks, dig a few pits, stick some stakes in the ground and we'll get a super duper weapon and I've got the super slingshot". No, he did not. He said: “Be still and see the salvation of God”. Not one person lifted up his hand. That is what is going to happen over this period. We are going to be required to do nothing except pray and fast and develop, keeping the Laws of God, and organise and talk to our people and lift them up and encourage them.
God is going to deal with all of these people. The texts on the Trumpets show exactly how it is going to happen.
The problem of the world is that the people will not repent. However, none of this is set in concrete. This Scripture is not one that cannot be broken in the sense that the earlier Scriptures could not be broken, because they are built in sections, according to the word of God, which says these people CAN repent! There are specific phases where they are allowed to repent. But the Bible says: “and yet they did not repent”. However, they can repent, and this madness can be stopped right now if we get people in this country to repent. We should pray that the Lord establishes His angels around this nation and we are allowed to call this nation to repentance, and that we become a beacon in the Millennium to this world.
God deals with us through our weaknesses, and He shows us our own weaknesses. He pulls out the weak and makes them strong. We are not here because of any innate strength of our own. We are here because of our weaknesses, and some weaknesses are glaring. We are called to confound the mighty and not because of our own strength. However, with the Holy Spirit we are strong. We will be able to endure all of this, and God will put no greater burden on us than we can stand. Not one of us will be asked to do anything that God cannot get us through properly.
Our salvation will not be prejudiced by this Tribulation. We will be brought through and developed. We will know when this Tribulation is over because of the heavenly signs, and they will be a blessing to us.
The sixth seal is at Revelation 6:12:
when he opened the sixth seal, I looked and behold there was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth and the full moon became like blood and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as the figtree sheds its winter fruit, when shaken by a gale, the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men, generals, rich and strong, and everyone slave and free, hid in the caves in the rocks and mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb for the great day of their wrath is come. Who can stand before it?
That's a very strong process. We know that this heralds the end of our tribulation. That is the watershed when we see our redemption is near. That process allows the sequence to develop. Those heavenly signs mark the calling out of the final elements of the 144,000.
Revelation 7:1-8 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads." 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel, 5 twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand of the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand of the tribe of Gad, 6 twelve thousand of the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand of the tribe of Naph'tali, twelve thousand of the tribe of Manas'seh, 7 twelve thousand of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand of the tribe of Is'sachar, 8 twelve thousand of the tribe of Zeb'ulun, twelve thousand of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Benjamin. (RSV)
The significance is that this does not follow the normal tribes. One tribe is missing, and a tribe is included. Levi is normally not numbered among the tribes, but in this passage they are included. The tribe of Dan gives them their inheritance. Dan is not part of the 144,000 as a separate tribe. The tribe of Joseph normally encompasses the tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh. Yet, the tribe of Joseph is mentioned together with Manasseh. Manasseh is mentioned separately to Joseph! Yet Joseph is only ever used as a composite group in previous Scripture. So the tribe of Dan is incorporated into the tribe of Ephraim to form the tribe of Joseph for the allocation of their 12,000 in the Last Days in the 144,000. This is significant. It shows us also that Dan and Ephraim are together as a people in the Last Days. They are mixed in terms of their spiritual inheritance. That should not be overlooked. Also the judgment is given to Dan in accordance with its birthright promise made in Genesis 49:16-18. Dan was judged by its exemplary treatment of Judah in the Second World War.
Revelation 7:9-17 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!" 11 And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen." 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?" 14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they 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 within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (RSV)
At this time the 144,000 are sealed so that a specific number makes up the government. Under those beings are a great number of people who have been reached. They do not take the mark of the Beast and are put through the Tribulation. Christ does not want people who are half-hearted or afraid. We fear God more than we fear men. We are being prepared in order to deal with that system and sequence, and to help these people and get this Great Multitude through so that the organisation is done by Christ prior to his Advent. Then when Messiah comes, he will deal with the rest of world who have the mark of the Beast and he will subjugate those nations. There is a multitude of them. We do have success in terms of pulling people out, but we don't convert nations. There is a multitude that comes to understand. This point marks the watershed. Then there is silence for half an hour.
The composition of the 144,000 is made up of the series of the sacrifices as determined on a yearly basis over the forty Jubilees. This is addressed separately.
Revelation 8:1 when the Lamb opened the Seventh Seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour ... then I saw the seven angels who stood before God and seven trumpets were given to them.
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