Who are the 144,000, and what power has God given to them?
II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.
A. In contrast to chapter 6 which seems to give the chronological sequence of major events of the great tribulation, chapter 7 does not advance the narrative but directs attention to two major groups of saints in the tribulation. The opening portion of the chapter pictures the 144,000 representative of the godly remnant of Israel on earth in the great tribulation. The latter part of the chapter describes a great multitude of martyred dead in heaven, those who died as a testimony to their faith from every kindred, tongue, and nation.
B. The question has often been asked, “Will anyone be saved after the rapture?” The Scriptures clearly indicate that a great multitude of both Jews and Gentiles will trust in the Lord after the church is caught up to glory. Though the children of God living on earth at the time will be translated when Christ comes for His church, immediately a testimony will be raised up to the name of Christ through new converts among Jews and Gentiles. Though these are never described by the term “church,” they are constantly called saints, that is, those set apart as holy to God and saved through the sacrifice of Christ.
III. Scripture Text. 7. Link pasted from Bible Gateway.
IV. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible.
A. 7:3. The judgments are delayed until these 144,000 Jewish people can be “sealed;” i.e., protected supernaturally.
B. 7:4. “one hundred and forty-four thousand.” These are Jews from the 12 tribes (12,000 each) who are protected in order to perform service for God during those days.
C. 7:9. “a great multitude.” This magnitude is composed of many racial and geographic groups who will be redeemed during the Tribulation (v. 14). In those difficult days, many will find Christ as Savior.
D. 7:15-17. Having died or been martyred during the Tribulation, this great multitude are seen in heaven enjoying the blessings.
V. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.
I. Video Data. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. John Ankerberg (M. Div., D. Min.), Dr. Ron Rhodes (Th.M., Th. D.)
Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.
The opening verse of the first chapter introduces immediately the central theme of the book of Revelation, namely, Jesus Christ in His present and future glory. The futuristic and prophetic character of the book is indicated in the words “a revelation of Jesus Christ” in which God will declare to John “things which must shortly come to pass.” The word revelation is the translation of apokalypsis without the article, meaning a “revelation, disclosure, or unveiling.” It is a revelation of truth about Christ Himself, a disclosure of future events, that is, His second coming when Christ will be revealed. It is as well a revelation which comes from Christ.
III. Verse Examination.
Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.
A. 1:1. “of Jesus Christ” = from Jesus Christ. Jesus gave this revelation from God, by means of an angel, to John. “soon.” This word does not indicate that the events described in this book will necessarily occur soon but that when they do begin to happen they will come to pass swiftly. (The same Greek word is translated “quickly” in Luke 18:8.) B. 1:3. ‘Blessed.” There are seven beatitudes in Revelation. This is the first; the others are found in 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14. John wanted the book read at once, and preferable aloud, in the churches. C. 1:4. “seven.” The number seven is associated with completion, fulfillment and perfection. In Revelation there are seven churches and seven spirits (1:4), seven lampstands (1:12), seven stars (1:16), seen seals on the scroll (5:1), seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb (5:6), seven angels and seven trumpets (8:2), seven thunders (10:3), seven heads of the dragon (12:3), seven heads of the beast (13:1), seven golden bowls (15:7), and seven kings (17:10). “the seven spirits.” Many understand this to refer to the Holy Spirit in His perfect fullness (see 4:5a; Isa 11:2), though some take this as a reference to seven angels who are before God’s throne. D. 1:5. “firstborn of the dead.” I.e., Christ was the first to receive a resurrection body that is immortal. See Col 1:15, where He is designated the firstborn of of every creature (cf. Ps 89:27). E. 1.6. “a kingdom, priests.” Description of both Israel (Ex 19:6) and the church (1 Pet 2:9-10), indicating that we shall minister to Him forever. F. 1:7. On “pierced” see Zech 12:10. “all…will mourn.” See Matt 24:29:30). G. 1:8. “the Alpha and the Omega.” The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, indicating that the Lord God is the beginning and end of all things. H. 1:9. “Patmos.” A small island in the Aegean Sea, SW of Ephesus. I. 1:10. “in the Spirit.” I. e., in a state of spiritual “ecstasy.” “on the Lord’s day.” Likely not a reference to Sunday (which is called the first day of the week in the NT) but literally a “lordian day,” or an “imperial day” (the same adjective is used elsewhere only in 1 Cor 11:20), referring to the contents of the vision that reveal the future time when Christ will judge and rule. J. 1:12. “lampstands.” These represent the seven churches mentioned in verse 11 (see also v 20). K. 1:13. Christ’s clothing designates Him as priest and judge. Notice the description of the Ancient of Days in Dan 7:9. L. 1:14. “like white wool…..snow.” Pictures Christ’s wisdom and purity. “His eyes were like a flame of fire.” Piercing and penetrating in holiness. Compare the figure used in 1 Cor 3:13 in relation to judgment. M 1:15. His “feet” walked through the trials and limitations of His earthly life. No one will talk back to one who has such a “voice.” N. 1:16-20. “In His right hand he held seven stars.” The right hand is the place of honor (cf. Eph 1:20). The stars are the “angels of the seven churches” (v 20). The word “angel” may mean “a superhuman being,” implying that each church has a special guardian angel or, more likely, it refers to the human leader of each local church. (See Luke 9:52 and James 2:25, where the word “angels,” translated “messengers,” is used of human beings.) “sword.” A symbol both of the truth and of the severity of the Word of God (Heb 4:12). O. 1:17. “I am the first and the last.” In verse 8 God is called “the Alpha and the Omega.” Here, Christ gives Himself a similar title. P. 1:18. “the keys of death and of Hades.” The keys denote the authority of Christ over physical death and Hades, the place that temporarily holds the immaterial part of the unbeliever between death and the ultimate casting into the lake of fire (see 20:14). Q. 1:19. This verse gives the basic outline of the book: (1) “things which you (John) have seen,” as recorded in chap 1; (2) “things which are;” i.e., the present state of the churches (chaps 2-3); and (3) “things which will take place after these things.” The third section clearly begins with 4:1, since the same phrase is used there. R. 1:20. “the….stars are the angels.”
IV. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.