Revelation 7


The Wind Is Restrained


Verse 1-3 – And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 

I.    Purpose of this chapter.

A.     To relate the gracious provision of God upon his elect Jews on this earth and the elect Gentiles in heaven. 

1.      Even though God in his wrath will soon be pouring out his vengeance upon this wicked world, there are still his elect scattered throughout the world. 

2.      God is gracious to his children who will soon be saved, showing them kindness and mercy while avenging the blood of those who have killed other of his children, as related in the opening of the fifth seal. 

3.      It is fairly simple to read the first three verses of this chapter and understand that the destruction that is coming on the earth will be delayed, or that the destruction will not affect the elect of God, until the servants of God are sealed. 

B.     After these things… 

1.      This statement is important because it establishes an unbroken timeline between the opening of the sixth and seventh seal. 

2.      The preterists will state chapter seven relates to the destruction of the nation of Rome and the subsequent salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the times of the Gentiles. 

3.      The futurists will understand all the events of Revelation are future, and see the future salvation of 144,000 Jews and an innumerable company of Gentiles. 


II.    Four angels, four corners and four winds: 

A.     Four angels. 

1.      There are two scriptures that speak of four angels. 

a.       Zechariah 6:5 – And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 

b.      Revelation 9:14-15 – Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 

2.      Zechariah 6:5 ties the four angels with the four horsemen of Revelation 6, while Revelation 9:14-15 explains the judgment brought by the four angels is withheld from the opening of the sixth seal until the sounding of the sixth trumpet. 

a.       The purpose for the withholding of judgment upon this world is given to the saints under the altar in Revelation 6:11 – there are other elect that must be saved and killed during the tribulation period. 

b.      Zechariah explains another purpose for the withholding of judgment is to complete the restoration of the nation of Israel in preparation for their King: Jesus Christ, whom they will see as the Messiah/Saviour. 

3.      It is important to understand the setting of Zechariah. 

a.       Zechariah 1-6 is a vision of present and power of deliverance. 

b.      Zechariah 1:1 states that Zechariah wrote in 520 BC, which is the 2nd year Darius. 

1.)    Work on rebuilding the temple of God was started in 536 BC and continued seven years to 529 BC. 

2.)    Building ceased for nine years, but was restarted in 520 BC because of the preaching of Zechariah and Haggai. 

3.)    Just as the work of rebuilding the temple under Zerubbabel ceased, the nation of Israel also ceased being a world power, but will be reinstated under Christ. 

c.       Zechariah 1:7-8 – Zechariah sees the four horses under the Myrtle tree, which represents the coming restoration of Jerusalem and Israel. 

1.)    According to Zechariah 1:12-17 Jerusalem will be restored. 

2.)    Zechariah 1:18-21 describe four horns which scattered Jerusalem, then four carpenters which will  fray the four horns and cast the Gentiles out of Jerusalem. 

3.)    Zechariah 2:1-5 is a man who attempts to measure Jerusalem, but is told Jerusalem will not be measured, for it will be without walls for the multitude of people within its protection (during the millennium). 

4.)    Zechariah 2:6-13 speaks of the bringing together of Jerusalem, which had been scattered through the entire world and how Christ will dwell among them, and all nations shall belong to Christ. 

5.)    Zechariah 3 reveals the unworthiness of Israel and the glory of Christ who redeems his people. 

6.)    Chapter 4 (especially verse 6) gives the key to Israel’s restoration – Jesus Christ. 

a.)    Zerubbabel, of verse 6, is the head of the tribe of Judah at the end of the Babylon captivity under Cyrus. 

b.)    Zerubbabel immediately took his true position and led Israel to return to Israel, first rebuilding the altar on its old site, and reestablishing the daily sacrifice and correct worship of God. 

c.)    This Zerubbabel, in this position, represents Christ, who is our daily sacrifice, and who leads us in correct worship of God Almighty. 

7.)    Chapter 5:1-4 speaks of a flying roll, which is a curse upon the entire world. 

8.)    Chapter 5:5-11 speaks a kingdom of lead, which will sink, of course.  This kingdom of lead is pagan Babylon revived (also spoken of as the revived Roman Empire), which is destroyed in Revelation 18. 

9.)    Chapter 6 speaks of the four horses of Revelation, and the victory of Christ over Satan and his evil kingdom. 

4.      Revelation 9:14-15 reveals the judgment of God begun in Zechariah will continue until the opening of the first four seals, then the judgment will be put on hold again until the opening of the 6th seal. 

a.       It is easy to see why the souls under the altar would ask, …How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 

b.      We often impatiently judge God, thinking he isn’t going to do anything because we don’t see it happening.  [1]

B.     Four corners. 

1.      Scriptures: 

a.       Isaiah 11:12 – And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 

b.      Ezekiel 7:2 – Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. 

c.       Both of the above scriptures speak of the extremity of the earth giving up the remnant of the elect, and of the end of the age coming to the extremities of the earth. 

d.      Isaiah 40:22 states, It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: 

1.)    God never intended his disciples to believe the earth is flat or that he is shaped like a box, or that it has corners like a house. 

2.)    Some people like to point out what they consider to be inconsistencies, therefore justify themselves in not believing God’s eternal truths. 

2.      There is a difference in the corners of the earth and the corners of a house.  The corners of the earth is described as the borders, the ends or the extremity, while the corners of a house is where two sides meet. 

a.       The corner of the house could be described as the ends or the extremities of the house. 

b.      The earth does not have four corners as a house has four corners. 

c.       The earth is a sphere, not a flat plain, or a box. 

d.      There is no such thing as the east or west pole, but there is a north and south pole. 

3.      Many scoff at the Bible because they do not understand the principles God is teaching by the words he uses. 

a.       There are still people who believe in a flat earth, just as there are people who believe almost anything. 

b.      Many have accused Christianity of opposing scientific proof of a spherical earth. 

1.)    Of course, some accuse Christianity of most anything in order to discredit Christianity. 

2.)    There is no evidence that any of the “church fathers” believed in a flat earth – Catholics or Protestants. 

3.)    The accusation is as good as fact for some.  

4.      Why would God allow his word to be interpreted in such a manner as to cause confusion? 

a.       It would have been very easy for God to cause the KJV translators to use the word “extremities” instead of “corners”. 

b.      Matthew 13:10-17 – Christ is asked why he spoke to the multitudes in parables, and did not speak to them plainly. 

1.)    Christ explained to the disciples that the truths of the kingdom were not meant for the multitude, but those truths are meant for the disciples. 

2.)    People who do not want to hear the truth willingly accept the parables as the whole truth, not knowing there is a hidden truth. 

c.       People who want to find “errors” in the Bible are given “errors” to find. 

d.      True disciples, who believe the Bible to be true, may be confused, but their confusion causes them to study more and seek the truth from Christ, not depending on their intellect. 

5.      The document at the end of this file (copied from Answers in Genesis web site) gives some facts concerning the history of the flat earth controversy.  [i] 

a.       The links are “live”, and should connect to the original file if there is an active internet connection. 

b.      It may be necessary to copy/paste the link in your web browser. 

C.     Four winds refers to God’s power to destroy or conquer. 

1.      The word “wind” speaks not only of a physical movement of air, but also the movement of the Holy Spirit of God. 

a.       John 3:8 states, The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 

b.      Exodus 14:21 speaks of a strong east wind that blew all night to part the Red Sea. 

1.)    A natural wind would have to be extremely strong to blow apart the waters of the Red Sea, or any body of water, even a small body of water. 

2.)    A natural wind that is strong enough to blow apart the waters of the Red Sea would also blow away the Israelites and the Egyptians. 

3.)    God worked supernaturally in this wind to cause only the Red Sea to part, and stay apart while the Israelites crossed on dry ground.  

a.)    It is important to understand the wind continued to blow, holding the Red Sea apart while the Israelites were crossing, and continued to blow until all the Egyptians were in the dry sea bed. 

b.)    Just as the Egyptians magicians could for a while produce the same miracles as Christ, so the Egyptian army for a while were safe in the bed of the Sea while God’s power kept the waters from them. 

c.)    In the morning, when the Lord looked on them through the protection afforded only to Israel, they began to be defeated. 

2.      The wind not blowing on the earth, or sea, or on any tree reveals that God will halt all his coming judgments until the saints are God are safe. 

a.       It seems the saints that are sealed during the tribulation period will die during the tribulation period but they will be safe in the arms of Christ, even as they suffer and die. 

b.      We often think of safety in the arms of Christ as not having to endure any affliction, but God gives his safety and peace during the terrible storms of life. 

c.       Matthew 10:28 states, And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 

3.      Scriptures that speak of God’s judgments in the wind. 

a.       Jeremiah 49:36  And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come. 

1.)    Elam is a son of Shem and the name of the country lying east of Babylon toward the Mediterranean sea. 

2.)    Jeremiah 49:34-38 speaks of the destruction of Elam, while verse 39 speaks of the restoration of Elam in the last days. 

3.)    The words “four winds” speak of the conquering of Elam by the sword of the Lord. 

4.)    The word “four quarters” speak of the extremity, or the “corner” as related in Revelation 7:1. 

b.      Daniel 7:2  Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 

1.)    As Daniel observed, four great beasts came up from the great sea, which represents the multitudes of this world. 

2.)    The four great beasts represent the kingdoms of Babylon, the Medes/Persian, the Grecians and the Romans. 

3.)    The strivings of the four winds of heaven speak of the movement of the Holy Spirit of God as various developments are made toward the establishment of Satan’s kingdom. 

c.       Daniel 8:8  Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 

1.)    The four winds of heaven reveal the dividing of the kingdom of Alexander the Great happens as a result of the determination of God. 

2.)    In another of Daniel’s prophecies, the he goat (which represents the king of Grecia [Greece], Alexander the Great), is given power by God and his kingdom is dispersed to four other kings by the will and determination of God. 

3.)    The dividing of Alexander’s kingdom leads eventually to the kingdom that destroys Jerusalem in 70 A.D. 

4.)    There is little doubt there are ramifications of this dispersion even to the end of the world. 

5.)    Daniel 11:4 states concerning the dividing of Alexander’s kingdom, And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

4.      Scriptures that speak of God’s blessings being in the wind.

a.       Acts 2:1-4 reveals the rushing mighty wind that came into the upper room on the Day of Pentecost was the Holy Spirit of God, baptizing the assembled church, filling them with God’s power, and revealing that power to unbelievers. 

1.)    This passage is a good example of the combination of physical wind reflecting the movement of the Holy Spirit of God. 

2.)    It seems there was a physical wind that filled the house, and made a sound, but the most important part is the movement of the Holy Spirit of God. 

b.      Ezekiel 37:9  Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 

1.)    Ezekiel prophecies to the dead, dry bones as God commanded and flesh came upon them. 

2.)    The four winds breath upon these slain and gives them life, as Ezekiel prophesies to them. 

3.)    Preaching causes dead dry sinners to have flesh, but only the power of God represented in the four winds gives life. 

c.       Zechariah 2:6  Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. 

1.)    This passage relates to Israel returning to their inheritance after being scattered through the places of the north, and to the four winds. 

2.)    Israel is called upon to rejoice for all that God is doing to return them to their inheritance. 

d.      God’s elect shall be gathered from the four winds. 

1.)    Matthew 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

2.)    Mark 13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 

5.      Revelation 7:1 speaks of God’s power to destroy, but this destroying is held back until the elect of God are sealed.  [2]


The Sealing of 144,000 Jews


Verse 4-8 – And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. 

I.    There has been a great deal of speculation as to who these 144,000 Jews are. 

A.     The Bible is very clear in stating the 144,000 are Jews, 12,000 from each tribe. 

B.     Any other speculation is false speculation. 

C.     Jehovah (false) Witnesses claimed they were the 144,000 Jews when they were few in number, then they changed their theology to fit their numbers. 


II.    There is a variation between the original tribes of Israel and the tribes mentioned in Revelation 7. 

A.     Two Children don’t make it home! 








Genesis 49:3


Revelation 7:5



Genesis 49:5


Revelation 7:5



Genesis 49:5


Revelation 7:5



Genesis 49:8


Revelation 7:6



Genesis 49:13


Revelation 7:6



Genesis 49:14


Revelation 7:6



Genesis 49:16


Revelation 7:7



Genesis 49:19


Revelation 7:7



Genesis 49:20


Revelation 7:7



Genesis 49:21


Revelation 7:8



Genesis 49:22


Revelation 7:8



Genesis 49:27


Revelation 7:8


B.     The difference between Genesis 49 and Revelation 7. 

1.      Genesis 49 contains the original sons, while Revelation 7 contains the tribes of Israel whom God blessed. 

2.      When Levi does not receive an inheritance as the other tribes received, God gave Joseph a double portion by dropping the tribe of Joseph and giving the sons of Joseph, Manesseh and Ephraim, an inheritance. 

3.      In Revelation 7, God included Levi and Joseph, but dropped Ephraim and Dan. 


C.     The tribes of Dan and Ephraim are nestled together in the promised land, surrounded by other tribes who do make it home, but they do not because they do not remain in the truth of God. 

1.      What a lesson for us, who perhaps think we will be different from everybody else. 

a.       We often think we will make it “home” even though we are not as faithful as God wants us to be. 

b.      Even though we continue to willfully sin and neglect personal Bible study and personal prayer. 

c.       The long term result of our failure to adhere to the principles of God would terrify us if we could see into the future. 

d.      We might live differently, if we could see where our lack of faithfulness leads. 

2.      For the lost, you may be nestled among believers now, but think: soon those believers will be leaving for their eternal heavenly home, and you will be left behind. 

a.       You may presently be living in the blessed promised land of safety, in peace and contentment, surrounded by believers who are your friends and confidants. 

b.      But you will not enter into the promised land of eternity, because you have never really been a part of this earthly promised land. 

c.       Dan and Ephraim were a part of the earthly promised land, but their names are not recorded in Revelation 7, because they had vanished from the nation of Israel. 

1.)    They did not vanish because that was God’s plan for them. 

2.)    They vanished because they never really accepted the spiritual renewal offered to them. 

3.)    They wanted the blessings God offered in this material, earthly world, but they did not want its spiritual counterpart. 

d.      They entered into the earthly promised land, but not into the spiritual, eternal promised land, as none of the tribe of Dan and Ephraim were sealed by the Holy Spirit of God in Revelation 7. 

3.      Another joyful part of the story is Manasseh. 

a.       Manasseh, nor Ephraim, received a blessing from Jacob, as recorded in Genesis 49. 

b.      Yet Manasseh is found in Revelation 7, while Ephraim is not. 

c.       What is the difference? 

1.)    The family of Manasseh was faithful,

2.)    while the family of Ephraim was not faithful. 

d.      You may be one of those “on the outside” looking in. 

1.)    But that doesn’t mean God will not give you a place of honor.  

2.)    There is plenty of room for the faithful, so don’t be looking at the past. 

3.)    Look to the future and seek to serve God with all your strength, all your heart and all your mind. 

4.)    Please God only, and God will fulfill all his promises for you. 

4.      The sad story of Dan and Ephraim is revealed in the Bible. 

a.       It is a powerful story. 

1.)    A sad story. 

2.)    A true story. 

b.      What about you? 

1.)    Where will you end your earthly journey? 

2.)    In destruction or in blessing? 

D.     There is a vast difference in what men see and how things will be in eternity. 

1.      Matthew 19:30 – the first shall be last and the last shall be first. 

2.      The various stations in eternity will be given as God counts faithfulness, not as men count faithfulness. 

3.      Many who are counted very faithful in this life will not be counted faithful by God, and many who are not counted faithful in this life will be counted very faithful in eternity. 

4.      It is not station of life that determines faithfulness, but adherence to God’s commandments in individual circumstances. 

E.      Note the variation in the order: changed from birth order to God’s order. 

1.      The firstborn son, Reuben, is the second son, as God chose Judah over Reuben. 

a.       Some believe this was caused by Reuben laying with Bilhah, the concubine of Jacob, Genesis 35:22, and 49:4. 

b.      I could not find a scripture that said God replaced Reuben with Judah, especially since Judah also his troubles with immorality, Genesis 38. 

1.)    The difference between Reuben and Judah is that Reuben lay with his father’s concubine, while Judah lay with Tamar, his daughter in law. 

2.)    Reuben’s wickedness caused the birthright to be lost, Jacob giving the birthright to Joseph instead, I Chronicles 5:1-2. 

c.       God chose Judah, not for any merit of his own, as God chooses us, not based on merit. 

2.      Joseph and his son, Manasseh, are both counted as tribes in Revelation 7. 

a.       Ephraim is not counted as a tribe, even though they are counted a tribe in Numbers 1. 

b.      Dan is also not a counted as a tribe in Revelation 7. 


III.    Ephraim ceases to be recognized as a tribe of Israel in eternity. 

A.     I Kings 12:28-29 states, Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. 

1.      Bethel (House of God) is located in tribe of Ephraim, while the tribe of Dan (in the northern most part of Israel) is the location of the second idol. 

a.       Originally, Bethel was a border town of Benjamin (Joshua 16:1-2), but was apparently lost to the Canaanites. 

b.      According to I Chronicles 7:28, Bethel was a part of the Northern Kingdom for a while, and was a part of Judah for a brief period, II Chronicles 13:19. 

c.       The tribe of Ephraim then conquered the city and retained it in their tribe. 

2.      Jacob and Bethel – the center of God’s worship. 

a.       Genesis 28:19 – God appeared to Jacob at Bethel when he fled from Esau to Laban. 

b.      Genesis 35:1 – Twenty years later, when Jacob leaves Laban, God instructs Jacob to return to Bethel to worship. 

3.      The inhabitants of Ephraim made no lasting protest, the idols became a sin, therefore God will blot out their name from under heaven. 

B.     Deuteronomy 29:20-21 states, The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven. 21 And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law: 

1.      In Deuteronomy 29, Moses warns all Israel of the eternal consequences of temporal sin, stating in verse 18 that any man, woman, family or tribe who worships idols shall suffer everlasting consequences. 

2.      Ephraim failed to heed the warning of God, therefore eventually lost their place in Israel. 

3.      A positive point is that the faithful of Ephraim could be included under the tribe of Joseph, from whom they originated. 

C.     The continuing idol worship at Bethel. 

1.      Jeremiah 48:13 – And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence. 

a.       Chemosh is a god of the Moabites. 

1.)    His name means destroyer, or subdued. 

2.)    I Kings 11:7 – Chemosh was introduced to Israel by Solomon.  Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 

3.)    II Kings 23:13 – King Josiah abolished the idol from Israel.  And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. 

b.      Jeremiah 48:7 reveals why Moab became ashamed of Chemosh.  For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together. 

1.)    Verse 1-5 speaks of the destruction of Moab. 

2.)    Verse 6-10 reveals that Moab and their false god, who could not deliver them from their enemy, went into captivity. 

c.       The nation of Israel will also be ashamed of Bethel, because they put their trust in Bethel (the house of God) rather than putting their trust in the God of the house. 

2.      Amos 4:4 – Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years: 

a.       The context of Amos reveals that Israel kept up the outward appearance of worship and holiness before God, yet transgressed toward the needy. 

b.      God chastened Israel by famine, drought, blasting, mildew, pestilences and captivity, yet they kept up the ruse of their worship, never repenting. 

3.      Hosea 10:8 – The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us. 

a.       Aven is Beth-Aven or Bethel. 

b.      Hosea 4:15 confirms, Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth. 

c.       God will destroy Israel and their places of “worship” because of inward disobedience, regardless of the outward appearance or holiness. 

D.     The final “turning over” of Ephraim to their desired destruction. 

1.      Hosea 4:17 states, Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. 

2.      1 John 5:16 confirms, If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 

3.      Hebrews 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  [3]


IV.    The tribe of Dan: not included in eternity. 

A.     Genesis 49:18 is perhaps the saddest words in any language, revealing the reason the tribe of Dan is not included in eternity.  I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD. 

B.     Genesis 46:23 records that Dan had only one descendent. 

1.      Genesis 46:23  And the sons of Dan; Hushim. 

2.      It is said, the name “Hushim” is in plural form, indicating this is a family, not an individual. 

3.      However, the count of 66 souls (Genesis 46:26) or 70 souls (Genesis 46:27) reveals this is one individual, not a family. 

C.     Numbers 2:25-26 -   The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north side by their armies: and the captain of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred. 

1.      Even though the Bible lists only two inhabitants of Dan in Genesis 46:23, it is the second most numerous of all the tribes, (with 74,600 inhabitants) except Judah, in the census taken at Mount Sinai. 

2.      There is no record of the inhabitants of Levi, because Numbers 1:49 states the tribe of Levi should not be numbered, because they will be in charge of the tabernacle. 

D.     The faithfulness of the tribe of Dan at the beginning. 

1.      Exodus 31:6 – God gave Moses Aholiab, from the tribe of Dan, along with Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah, as willing workers in constructing the intricate items of the tabernacle. 

2.      Numbers 26:42-43 – After the plague concerning Korah, Dan has 64,400 inhabitants, outnumbered only by Judah, who has 74,600 inhabitants, Numbers 26:19-22. 

3.      Judges 13:2 – Samson, a judge of Israel, was from the tribe of Dan. 

E.      Joshua 19:40-48 – The inhabitants of Dan received their portion of the promised land. 

1.      The tribe of Dan is the last to receive his portion in the promised land. 

2.      The tribe of Dan receives the smallest land area, even though they are next to the most populous tribe. 

a.       Some commentaries state the inheritance is too small for the tribe of Dan. 

b.      God would never give a tribe an inheritance that was too small. 

c.       Their inheritance was the best land in all of Palestine, and would have been enough if they had used the land properly. 

3.      The natural advantages of their portion. 

a.       On the north and east, it joined Ephraim and Benjamin, two strong allies in case of war. 

b.      On the south, it joined Judah, another strong ally. 

c.       The most fertile land in all of Palestine was given to the tribe of Dan. 

F.      The gradual decline of Dan is two fold: (1) they did not love the inheritance of God enough to fight for it, and (2) They did not defeat the Amorites, which were defeated by the house of Joseph. 

1.      Judges 1:34-35 states, And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley: 35 But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries. 

2.      While the Amorites drove the Danites out, the house of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) forced the Amorites to become tributaries (forced them to pay taxes or otherwise to be in submission to them). 

3.      The tribe of Dan did not fight for their God given land (their own peace with God), therefore looked for the peace of God in a place other than their own inheritance. 

a.       Judges 5:17 records that Dan did not help Barak fight against the Philistines, but remained in their ships. 

b.      Judges 18:1 states, In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel. 

c.       Judges 18:2-6 – The Danites liked the “peace” of the family of Micah, but were unwilling to get their own peace, desiring instead to steal the peace (so-called) of others. 

d.      Judges 18:7 reveals the Danites came to Laish and saw it was an easy land to conquer, therefore, on the way to Laish, they conquered the house of Micah, then proceeded to Laish and took the city and the surrounding land for themselves. 

1.)    Judges 18:29 explains Joshua 19:47, and how Dan happened to leave their inheritance, against the commandment of God. 

2.)    I Chronicles 12:35 reveals that the tribe of Dan contained 28,600 expert warriors and came to David at Hebron to turn the kingdom from Saul to David, according to the Word of the Lord. 

3.)    I Chronicles 27:22 reveals that the tribe of Dan was still included with Israel during the reign of David, and was included in the captains that served the king. 

4.)    II Chronicles 2:14 reveals that at least some of the citizens of Dan had intermarried with the Phoenicians. 

4.      Others who valiantly fought for the land God gave to them. 

a.       II Samuel 23:11-12 – David counts Shammah as one of his faithful because he defended a patch of lentiles, refusing to let the Philistines take them. 

b.      I Kings 21:3 – Naboth refused to trade his God given land to Ahab, therefore lost his life. 

5.      There is no genealogy given for the Danites in I Chronicles chapter 1-8. 

a.       It could be supposed, but it is not certain that the tribe of Dan lost their place in Israel because they did not retain the inheritance God gave to them, moving instead to the northern part of the nation of Israel. 

b.      It could also be supposed that the tribe of Dan did not remain pure because they intermarried with unbelievers. 

c.       It could also be assumed the other tribes of Israel would not be interested in retaining the integrity of the Danites, if the Danites were not interested in retaining their own integrity. 

6.      It is probably wrong to assume that the entire tribe of Dan decided to go against the revealed will of God. 

a.       II Chronicles 2:14 reveals that at least some of the citizens of Dan had intermarried with the Phoenicians. 

b.      It is not that the tribe of Dan determined to rebel against God’s will for them, but the slow slide into rebellion overtook them as time progressed. 

G.     Judges 19-21 – The tribe of Benjamin came close to being eliminated from Israel because they permitted  followers of Belial to do wicked things. 

1.      God allowed the faithful of Israel to war and win against Benjamin, almost totally wiping out the tribe. 

2.      God also blessed the plan to restore the tribe of Benjamin.  [4]


V.    Verse 3 

A.     These that are sealed are Israelites, not the church. 

1.      Some teach the 144,000 are symbolic of the church of Jesus Christ. 

a.       Revelation 7:4 states these are of the children of Israel, therefore they are of Israel, not the church. 

b.      Some call these the “new church” or “spiritual Israel”, but there is no scripture that declares that. 

c.       The tribal affiliations are specific.

d.      Israel is a term never specifically applied to the Lord’s church in the entire New Testament, and never by any “Christian” until 160 AD. 

B.     The word “sealed” has at least two meanings: (1) identification and (2) protection or concealment. 

1.      The seal is an official confirmation that a certain item belongs to a certain individual. 

a.       According to Revelation 14:1 (And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.), the seal is the Father’s name, which is written in the forehead of believers, just as Satan puts his seal (the number 666) in the forehead of his believers. 

b.      To set a mark upon. 

1.)    Genesis 4:15 – God put a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. 

a.)    There is no record of what the mark was, where it was placed, but it is assumed the mark remained in the body of Cain as long as he lived. 

b.)    The mark on Cain was God’s way of distinguishing Cain from all others, as well as God’s protection. 

2.)    Ephesians 1:13 states, In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 

a.)    The word “sealed” in Ephesians 1:13 and Revelation 7:3 is the same.

b.)    Believers are set aside, marked, and protected by God unto eternal life. 

3.)    Ezekiel 9:4 – And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. 

a.)    God knew these mourned in their hearts for the sins of Israel, therefore he marked them in their foreheads. 

b.)    God also knows those that do not mourn because of sins, and does not mark them. 

4.)    Revelation 13:16 – And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 

a.)    Satan knows those who reject Christ, and desire only what this world offers, therefore they receive a mark in their foreheads, identifying them with Satan and his doomed kingdom. 

b.)    The mark of the Anti-Christ is an identifying mark, and does not cause wickedness. 

c.       To be sealed is also to be hidden. 

1.)    The contents of the seven sealed book of Revelation 5 are hidden until the seals are broken and the book is opened. 

a.)    The contents of an envelope are hidden and protected as long as the envelope is sealed. 

b.)    The fact that something is hidden behind a seal is also proof that it belongs to a particular individual or entity. 

2.)    I Kings 19:18 states, Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 

a.)    Elijah believes he is left alone, yet God tells him there are 7,000 faithful left in Israel. 

b.)    These were hidden, perhaps not as we think of hidden from view, but hidden and protected from Satan’s assaults. 

3.)    Luke 22:32 – Jesus had prayed for Peter than his faith would not fail. 

a.)    Peter is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, therefore there are parts of Peter that are hidden, and protected by God that Satan cannot see, nor destroy. 

b.)    There are parts of us that God has sealed with his Holy Spirit that Satan cannot see, nor destroy; therefore we have eternal life in Christ. 

2.      The lesson is that God marks out a certain number (and certain individuals) of Jews, and hides them (keeps Satan from destroying them) until their work is finished. 

a.       Could it be that these 144,000 are Jews that escape the hand of Satan when he is trying to destroy all Jews? 

b.      Could it be that God will use this remnant to fulfill his promises to this great nation? 

c.       Does this passage compare to I Kings 19:18, to the 7,000 that were hid from being destroyed in Elijah’s day? 

d.      Jeremiah 32:44 – Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD. 

C.     Marked in their forehead. 

1.      Why is the mark in the forehead, and not in another body part? 

a.       Genesis 3:15 – Satan will bruise the heal of Satan, but Christ shall bruise Satan’s head. 

1.)    Satan is always the imitator of the good that God does, therefore Satan attempts to use the mark in the forehead to his advantage. 

2.)    The mark is in the forehead, not any other body part, because the mind of men (the heart – not the organ, but the soul) is associated with the brain, knowledge, and understanding. 

b.      The mark in the forehead is an identifying mark, and does not cause the individual to be for or against God. 

1.)    God looks on the heart of an individual, and puts his mark on them according to what he sees in the heart. 

2.)    If God sees wickedness in the heart, he does not put his mark on that individual. 

3.)    This fact does not override God’s eternal election and determination, rather it emphasizes the responsibility of man and the fact that God rewards according to inward motivations. 

2.      Forehead marked by sin. 

a.       1 Samuel 17:49 – And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 

1.)    Goliath was wicked in his heart, therefore was defeated by a stone to the forehead. 

2.)    The defeat of Goliath his a picture of how Satan and his followers will be eternally destroyed. 

b.      2 Chronicles 26:19-20 – Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. 20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. 

1.)    The wickedness of Uzziah’s heart in attempting to take the place of God appointed priests is revealed by leprosy appearing in his forehead.  

2.)    God did not cause leprosy to appear before the act of the heart was accomplished. 

c.       Jeremiah 3:3 – Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. 

1.)    The “whore’s forehead” is not a physical characteristic but an attitude of the mind and heart. 

2.)    The context of the passage reveals that Israel had become accustomed to their wicked sinning, therefore was not ashamed but brazen in their contempt for holiness. 

d.      Revelation 17:5 – And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 

1.)    God did not cause this false religion, but left them to themselves, therefore the wickedness of their heart developed into this false religion. 

2.)    God has marked out those that rebel against him, and instructs his saints to also mark out those that refuse to worship and serve him. 

3.      Forehead marked by God. 

a.       Exodus 28:38 – And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. 

b.      Ezekiel 3:8-9 – Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. 

c.       Ezekiel 16:12 – And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. 

1.)    God did all these wonderful things for Israel, yet Israel rejected the blessings of God in favor of their own righteousness. 

2.)    Israel then received, not the blessings of God, but the fruit of their own wickedness. 

d.      Revelation 14:9 – And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 

1.)    The context of this passage reveals the coming wrath of God upon all who receive the mark of the beast in their foreheads. 

2.)    All these who choose wickedness instead of righteousness shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. 

3.)    The smoke of their torment shall rise up forever, and God will be eternally praised for his righteousness in dealing with them. 

e.       Revelation 20:4 – And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 

1.)    There is much trouble in this present life for all those who do not receive the mark of the beast, but there is eternal peace for them. 

2.)    Those that receive the mark of the beast will have much pleasantries in this life, but in eternity they will endure much torment. 

f.        Revelation 22:4 – And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 

1.)    Believers shall forever be identified with Christ and be protected by him. 

2.)    The context of this passage reveals much that believers will forever enjoy.  [5]


VI.    Who are the 144,000 Jews that are sealed? 

A.     A description is given in Revelation 14:4. 

1.      They are pure before God and men for they are virgins, not only in body, but also in spirit. 

2.      They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. 

3.      They are redeemed from men, because they are the firstfruits. 

a.       The firstfruits is the beginning of what will be later. 

1.)    Romans 16:5 – Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. 

2.)    1 Corinthians 15:20 – But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 

3.)    1 Corinthians 15:23 – But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 

4.)    1 Corinthians 16:15 – I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 

b.      The 144,000 are a promise that God will save the nation of Israel. 

B.     There is no record in the Bible they are killed during the tribulation period. 

1.      They are sealed, which means they are marked and protected, refer to the points above on being sealed and hidden or protected. 

2.      The only possible indication the 144,000 are killed during the Great tribulation is in Revelation 14:1 where they stand on mount Zion with Christ.

a.       Even this verse is not conclusive proof, as Christ is on Mt. Zion, not in heaven. 

b.      The scene indicates the 144,000 are sealed, protected and constantly with Christ. 

C.     They are Jews, distinct from the Gentiles who will be saved and killed during the tribulation period. 

1.      It is remarkable the 144,000 are distinctly pointed out. 

2.      They represent the entirety of the Jewish nation as firstfruits of that nation, which will turn to Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation. 

D.     Zechariah 12-14 describes the turning of Israel toward God, their repentance and how God gives the victory when every nation is gathered together against them. 

1.      Zechariah 12.

a.       Verse 3 relates that Israel will be a great burden to every nation, therefore they will attempt to destroy that nation of God. 

b.      Verse 5 informs that the leaders of Judah will not depend on themselves, but …in their heart… will rely on God for strength. 

c.       Verse 7 states the nation of Israel will be complete again, that there will be no division between any of the tribes. 

d.      Verse 8 describes the strength and courage of the weak. 

2.      Zechariah 13.

a.       Verse 1 tells of the fountain of grace opened to Israel to cleanse them from sin and wickedness. 

b.      Verse 2-5 describes the strictness of the people against false prophets. 

c.       Verse 6 describes the person of Jesus Christ. 

d.      Verse 7-9 informs that 2/3 of the population of Israel shall die, but God will keep 1/3 alive and will refine them for his glory and honor. 

3.      Zechariah 14. 

a.       Verse 1-2 describes how God scattered Israel throughout the nations. 

b.      Verse 3-10 describes the day when Christ appears on the Mount of Olives to fight for Israel and turn everything around. 

c.       Verse 11-15 illustrates the victory Israel will have over their enemies. 

d.      Verse 16-21 explains the reign of Christ during the millennium.  [6]


A Great Number Of Gentiles


Verse 9-10 – After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 

I.    The phrase After this… indicates a time frame after the sealing and protecting of the 144,000 Jews. 

A.     The scene of Revelation 7:1-8 is on the earth, while the scene of Revelation 7:9-17 is in heaven. 

1.      This reveals the tribulation period is for the redemption of the Jewish nation, the 144,000 being the firstfruits of that redemption. 

2.      God will keep the 144,000 Jews safe, as revealed by their being sealed, but the great multitude of Gentiles who are saved during the tribulation period will be killed because of their testimony of redemption. 

B.     It is fitting that Gentiles rejoice when they know God has set aside some in the nation of Israel for salvation and service. 

1.      The rejoicing of the vast multitude of redeemed Gentiles might seem twisted to worldly “believers”. 

2.      Worldly “believers” do not understand, therefore they are confused. 


II.    A description of the Gentiles. 

A.     The multitude is greater than any man can number. 

1.      We often think there are a few people saved during the Great Tribulation, but we are apparently wrong in that assumption. 

a.       Revelation 9:16 records that 200,000,000 horsemen will cross the Euphrates River, evidently to fight against Israel. 

b.      These horsemen could be numbered, although there are a lot of them. 

c.       The number of people saved during the Great Tribulation must be much greater than 200,000,000. 

d.      When the Bible states that no man can number the people saved and martyred during the Great Tribulation, we must remember the time frame involved, and the world-wide martyrdom involved; therefore all these people are not saved, nor killed at the same time. 

1.)    The number will likely also include those who are euthanized or aborted. 

2.)    There will be so many killed, in so many places all over this world, no agency will be able to put all the names together into a list. 

3.)    Think of all the difficulty our government had in determining how many people died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. 

2.      We often think the vast political, economic and religious power of the Anti-Christ shall completely fill the earth and everybody will follow those wicked institutions. 

a.       It is true that many will follow the Anti-Christ, and many will take his mark, but millions of people will not take the mark of the beast. 

b.      The Anti-Christ kingdom is now working toward its goal of world dominion, and it looks as if everybody is flocking toward his wickedness, but even today (before the rapture of the Saints) millions hate his wickedness and quietly live their lives according to other directives (but not necessarily the Lord’s directives). 

c.       The common person can do little to stem the tide of wickedness, for that wickedness is in “high places”. 

1.)    There are many directives being passed by the United Nations, our government and other governments to which the common person is opposed, but our protests do little if anything to halt their wicked progress toward the one-world government. 

2.)    The opinions and portrayals by newspapers, magazines, and television programs, whether news or entertainment seem to indicate a desire of the common person for wickedness; as homosexuality, abortion on demand, fornication and adultery seem to be accepted in every venue. 

d.      God is using all these events to allow Satan to bring in his kingdom so that kingdom can be defeated, and the world will soon be rid of wickedness forever. 

3.      The dual overcoming. 

a.       Satan will be able to overcome many believers, but his overcoming is temporary. 

1.)    Revelation 11:7 – And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 

2.)    Revelation 13:7 – And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 

b.      Believers today can have some victories over Satan, but the final victory over Satan belongs to Christ. 

1.)    1 John 2:13 – I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 

2.)    1 John 2:14 – I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 

3.)    1 John 4:4 – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  

c.       The overcoming of God is final, as reflected in Revelation 17:14, which states, These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.  

4.      They come from every nation. 

a.       The gospel is proclaimed universality, and men of every description accept or reject that gospel. 

b.      Those who accept the gospel. 

1.)    The twenty four elders rejoice because of their salvation, and they proclaim they come from every kindred, tongue, people and nation of the earth.  Revelation 5:9 – And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. 

2.)    Revelation 13:7 – And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 

c.       Those who reject the gospel still have the gospel preached to them. 

1.)    Revelation 11:9 – And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 

2.)    Revelation 14:6 – And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

3.)    Revelation 17:15 – And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 

5.      It is very likely this vast number of Gentiles are saved through the preaching of (1) the 144,000 and (2) the two witnesses of Revelation 11, as these two groups use the scriptures. 

a.       In Isaiah 49:1-6 (especially verse 6), Isaiah is promised he (probably his inspired writings, preserved in the Bible) will be used to draw the Jews and Gentiles to salvation. 

b.      In Isaiah 60:1-5, it seems this promise is repeated to Isaiah; that God will draw many to salvation through his preaching and prophesying.  [7]

B.     They are standing before the throne and before the Lamb. 

1.      The throne and the Lamb are different. 

a.       The throne is the throne of God, representing his power, rule and authority. 

b.      The Lamb is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who sits on the throne. 

2.      The “time” of their standing before the throne and the Lamb is during the latter part of the Great Tribulation period and the millennium, and before eternity begins. 

a.       Refer to Revelation 7:15 – “day and night” and “in his temple”. 

b.      There is no night in eternity, nor is there a temple in New Jerusalem. 

3.      Their standing does not mean they are in rebellion, but it means they are not ruling.  Compare: 

a.       Zechariah 14:12 - And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 

1.)    Romans 14:11 – For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 

2.)    Philippians 2:10 – That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 

b.      Revelation 4:4 – The 24 elders sit upon 24 thrones, reflecting their authority and reign. 

4.      These Gentiles stand in a special place before the throne of God. 

a.       Revelation 4:6 refers to a sea of glass, which is empty at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. 

b.      Revelation 15:1-4 refers to this same sea of glass, which is now occupied by the Gentiles who have gotten the victory over the Anti-Christ (during the Great Tribulation). 

1.)    It must be noted that getting the victory over the Anti-Christ means these saints died, but they did not succumb to his demands. 

2.)    Believers today often think of victory in a completely different way, believing victory implies “mastery over” or to have “dominion over”. 

C.     They are clothed with white robes, which speak of the righteousness of the saints. 

1.      The Bible does not specifically state that all the white robes are linen, but all of them are white, which reminds us of holy, priestly service. 

2.      There is a “earning” of the right to wear a white robe, and a “giving the right” to wear a white robe. 

a.       Revelation 7:14 declares these Gentiles have come out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 

b.      Revelation 19:8 – And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 

c.       Romans 4:3 declares that Abraham’s belief was counted by God as righteousness, For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 

d.      Isaiah 61:10, speaking of Isaiah’s worship of God because of the blessings he has received from God - I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 

D.     They have palms in their hands. 

1.      There are several scriptures which speak of the palm of the hand, but this “palm” is a branch or leaf of a palm tree. 

2.      John 12:13 records that when Christ entered Jerusalem during his triumphant entry, the people… Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 


III.    Their song of rejoicing. 

A.     They rejoice only in salvation. 

1.      The word “salvation” here speaks of deliverance, not just from the torments of this world, but from eternal torments and everlasting destruction. 

2.      These Gentiles understand their deliverance is from God and the Lamb, therefore give them all the glory and praise for their deliverance. 

B.     They do not worship God because he gave them grace to die for him! 

1.      Believers who focus on dying are not focusing on living for God, or their present blessings from God. 

2.      When this life is all over, our rejoicing will be focused more on what Christ has done for us in salvation than in everything we ever did for him, as we will very clearly understand our depravity, and God’s great grace and mercy toward us while we were in our depravity.  [8]




Verse 11-12 – And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 

I.    All the angels worship God. 

A.     None are missing from this glorious assembly. 

1.      Angels are messengers, but there is no message to deliver at this time, except to add to the worship of the Gentiles concerning salvation. 

2.      The only angels absent from this assembly are those angels who followed Satan in his rebellion against God. 

B.     The angels are standing to reflect they are not ruling. 

1.      Christ sits upon his throne, as revealed in Revelation 5:1. 

2.      Revelation 4:4 reveals the twenty four elders sit upon their thrones. 

3.      In Matthew 19:28, Christ instructs his followers that all those who have followed him will sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 

C.     The reaction of the angels. 

1.      They stand round about the throne and the elders. 

2.      They are in a group by themselves, as they are “looking on” in the worship of salvation, as they have not been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. 

3.      They fall before the throne of God and worship God because they know his is the only and complete source of salvation. 

4.      The Gentiles worship God only in salvation, while the angels worship God in everything except salvation. 

D.     How the angels worship God: begins and ends with Amen which reflects agreement. 

1.      Amen – This “amen” reflects the agreement of the angels to the worship of the redeemed Gentiles. 

2.      Blessings – This speaks of praise or worship in fine, polished language – the language of the soul, which is greater than any orator can accomplish. 

3.      Glory – This speaks of excellent opinion, magnificent judgment, or excellent view. 

4.      Wisdom – This speaks of the skillful use of knowledge and expertise concerning very diverse operations and their various management requirements. 

5.      Thanksgiving – This speaks of gratefulness. 

6.      Honour – This speaks of the value of Christ which is far greater than any could every imagine, conceive of, or devise. 

7.      Power – This speaks of the “dynamite”, or inherent ability of Christ, which is far greater than could ever be imagined. 

8.      Might – This word is used in addition to “power” because the strength of Christ is unable to be communicated.  Refers to the “can-do-it-ness” of Christ. 

9.      Forever and ever – This speaks of eternity, where “time” is perpetual, where ages are continually unbroken. 

10.  Amen – There is nothing else to add, and may our worship end all disputes, to which we all agree. 


Description of Believers


Verse 13-17 – And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and 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 in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. 

I.    Why would one of the elders, who knew the answer, ask the question to one who he knew would not know? 

A.     To emphasize who these Gentiles are. 

1.      If we are simply told, we might not grasp all about them. 

2.      There are five verses devoted to telling us who these Gentiles are, and few verses telling us who the 144,000 Jews are. 

B.     To let John (and us) completely understand that we are to receive understanding of these events from those that know, not from our own imaginations. 

1.      We all could use our imaginations to create various scenarios, all of which could be wrong. 

2.      If we understand that scripture interprets scripture, we will search the scriptures and come to a full understanding of God’s word and will. 

C.     There are two questions. 

1.      Who are these which are arrayed in white robes? 

2.      Whence came they? 

D.     The two questions asked by the elder are answered in verses 14-17. 


II.    Verse 14-17 – The description of the Gentile multitude. 

A.     Verse 14 – They have come out of great tribulation. 

1.      The phrase “great tribulation” appears only three times in the entire Bible. 

a.       The verse before us – Revelation 7:14. 

b.      Matthew 24:21 – For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 

c.       Revelation 2:22 – Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 

1.)    This passage is speaking about Jezebel, who teaches and seduces the servants of God during the church age, and is present in the church in Thyatira. 

2.)    This false doctrine will continue on this earth after the rapture and will suffer during the Great Tribulation because they continue in their wickedness, not heeding the many warning given to them by the disciples of Christ. 

2.      It is very evident the phrase “great tribulation” refers to the seven year tribulation period, not to the general difficulties that ordinarily occur because of sin. 

3.      They have washed their robes and made them white. 

a.       This is not regeneration of self, but reflects the personal responsibility of every believer to receive and use the grace of God to cleanse their lives of sin. 

b.      Revelation 1:5 – And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 

1.)    God’s part – Jesus washes us from our sins in his own blood. 

2.)    Our part – Use what God gives to us, be justified by works as in James 2:12-26.  [9]

B.     Verse 15 – Therefore:

1.      They are before the throne of God. 

a.       Because these believers have stood for Christ and given their lives during the Great Tribulation, there is reserved for them a special place before the throne of God. 

b.      These believers are not in the nation of Israel, or the church, yet they are very special to God because of their willing sacrifice. 

c.       A description of the throne of God (Revelation 4, 15) reflects those martyred near the throne, the redeemed next, the angels next. 

1.)    I have heard many times that Baptists will be “right down front” during eternity, but I don’t see that in these verses, because the time of the bride is not yet. 

2.)    I see those that were faithful to Christ in that exalted place, not just Baptists. 

a.)    Many Baptists (it is a shame to say) are unfaithful to Christ. 

b.)    Of course, to be faithful to Christ is to be faithful to his body, the local church. 

2.      These individuals serve Christ day and night, in the temple. 

a.       They serve Christ. 

1.)    To serve Christ in worship means to minister to him, or to yield to his desires. 

2.)    We are served in a restaurant, which is an example of worship. 

3.)    All service is directed toward Christ, who is worthy to receive all attention. 

b.      As there is no night and no temple in eternity, (as we know day and night) we can understand the scene before us takes place before eternity begins, probably beginning during the Great Tribulation and continuing into the millennium. 

1.)    Revelation 21:22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 

2.)    Revelation 22:5 – And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 

3.      The Lamb dwells among them. 

a.       Christ, who is the Lamb, dwells among them; not above them, or below them, or beside them. 

b.      The word “among” implies equality, without insurrection. 

1.)    Believers should never think of lording it over Christ, as this is the sin of Satan. 

2.)    It should be counted the greatest blessing of all that Christ dwells among us – that he lowers himself to accept us, cleanse us, forgive us, and instruct us, then allows us to rule with him. 

c.       I Peter 5:2 instructs pastors to feed the flock which is among them. 

1.)    The pastor, as God’s representative, is over the flock in leadership and authority. 

2.)    The pastor, as a man and a church member, is not to “lord” it over the flock because, as a man and a church member, he is a part of the flock, equal to and not above other members. 

3.)    As a pastor, he has God given authority and responsibility to declare God’s eternal truths, and to lead the flock of God in the way God desires. 

C.     Verse 16 – The blessings this multitude shall enjoy. 

1.      They shall hunger and thirst no more. 

a.       During the reign of the Anti-Christ, a person must have the mark of the beast if they are to buy or sell. 

1.)    Revelation 13:16,17 – These believers will not take the mark of the beast, therefore they will be unable to buy or sell. 

2.)    Revelation 6:6 indicates a days work will purchase a days food. 

a.)    Children who cannot work may not be able to eat. 

b.)    Sick people who cannot work may not be able to eat. 

3.)    It is very possible that many believers will starve to death. 

b.      Revelation 7:16 speaks not just of physical hunger and thirst, but spiritual hunger and thirst, which is far greater.   

1.)    Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 

a.)    Physical sufferings are caused by spiritual hungering and thirsting. 

b.)    After death, spiritual hungering and thirsting will be completely fulfilled. 

c.)    Luke 16:25 – After death, Lazarus is comforted while the rich man is tormented. 

2.)    Malachi 3:16-18 speaks of those that fear the Lord, and see the wickedness of this world and speak to each other about the wickedness and God’s coming judgment and righteousness. 

2.      No sun or heat shall be on them. 

a.       Indications are that the sun and heat was one of the difficulties faced by the believers during the Great Tribulation, who refused to accept the mark of the beast. 

1.)    It is interesting that darkness or cold is not mentioned. 

a.)    Matthew 24:20 states, But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 

b.)    It may be that the length of time of their earthly affliction is short, and during the late spring, summer, or early fall months. 

c.)    Matthew 24:22 relates that the length of the Great Tribulation may be shorted for the elect’s sake.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 

2.)    The sufferings of the past are forever finished for these believers. 

b.      As the sun gives light and heat in this temporal life, these righteous Gentiles gave light in the world during the Great Tribulation. 

1.)    Matthew 13:43 – Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 

2.)    Revelation 21:23 – And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 

D.     Verse 17 – The fourfold reason for blessings. 

1.      The Lamb is described as being in the midst of the throne. 

a.       This is not an additional description of where the Lamb is, but given here to focus our attention on the actions of the Lamb in tenderly carrying for his faithful, even though he sits on the throne, judging the entire universe. 

b.      Christ will personally see that the faithful will hunger and thirst not more. 

2.      The Lamb shall feed them. 

a.       Even though the Lamb is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and rules the entire universe, he comes to his people to feed them. 

b.      John 13:1-17 (verse 16) records that Jesus washed the disciples feet, explaining to them that the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 

3.      The Lamb shall lead them to living fountains of waters. 

a.       The faithful thirsted during the Great Tribulation period, but they will not thirst in eternity. 

b.      God shall lead them to living fountains of waters. 

1.)    These is not ordinary water, which satisfies fleshly thirst, then a person is thirsty again. 

2.)    John 4:13-15 – Jesus explained to the woman at the well that he had water to give which would quench thirst forever. 

3.)    Revelation 22:1 describes a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 

4.)    When Christ leads the faithful to the living fountains of waters, he leads them to his eternal throne. 

a.)    The “time” of Revelation 22 is eternity; and even though Christ is ruling the entire universe, he still cares for the individuals who have faithfully followed him. 

b.)    While faithful believers are being cared for by Christ for all eternity, unbelievers are being eternally destroyed in the Lake of Fire. 

c.       There are eternal consequences to temporal actions. 

1.)    Because the rich man rejected Christ as his personal Saviour and Lord, he will spend eternity thirsting for a single drop of water, but there will be no water in the Lake of Fire to quench his thirst. 

2.)    Believers will spend eternity receiving the blessings reserved for them. 

3.)    Israel will spend eternity receiving the blessings reserved for them. 

4.)    The bride of Christ will spend eternity receiving the blessings reserved for them. 

5.)    Those martyred during the Great Tribulation will spend eternity receiving the blessings reserved for them. 

4.      The Lamb shall wipe away all tears. 

a.       The prophesy and fulfillment:

1.)    Isaiah 25:8 – He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. 

a.)    Isaiah 25:6 speaks of a great feast given to the faithful, of all good things. 

b.)    Isaiah 25:7 speaks of the removal of the vail that restricts the vision of God and knowledge from the entire world. 

1)      Exodus 34:29-35 – Moses’ face shone after he had been with the Lord and he had to wear a vail because the Israelites were afraid of him. 

2)      II Corinthians 3:13-16 records that Israel is still covered with that vail, as they do not understand who Christ is, or what he came to do. 

3)      Ephesians 4:18 reveals that the understanding is darkened. 

4)      I Corinthians 13:12 states that we now see as through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. 

2.)    The fulfillment:  Revelation 21:4 – And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

b.      God shall wipe away tears in eternity, not necessarily during this present world, or during the tribulation period or during the millennial reign. 

1.)    We often desire the fulfillment of this prophecy now, but now is the time for suffering for Christ and working for him and faithfulness to him. 

2.)    God will permanently wipe away tears, but in this life, tears quickly return. 


[1] Preached to here 01/30/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[2] Preached to here 02/20/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[3] Preached to here 02/27/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[4]  Preached concerning the tribe of Dan 03/16/2008 IBC Sunday Morning 07v05-08 Dan Does not Make it home.doc

[5] preached to here 3/19/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[6] Preached to here 03/26/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[7] Preached to here 04/02/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[8] Preached to here 04/09/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening 

[9] Preached to here 04/23/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

Who Invented the Flat Earth?  [i]



Evolutionists often falsely accuse creationists of believing in a flat Earth. But neither history nor modern scholarship supports the claim that Christians ever widely believed that the Earth was flat. And the Bible doesn’t teach it.

Christianity has often been accused of opposing science and hindering technology throughout history by superstitious ignorance. However, a closer study of historical facts shows that this accusation is ill-founded.

In his book The Discovers, author Daniel Boorstin stated: ‘A Europe-wide phenomenon of scholarly amnesia … afflicted the continent from AD 300 to at least 1300. During those centuries Christian faith and dogma suppressed the useful image of the world that had been so slowly, so painfully, and so scrupulously drawn by ancient geographers’.1

Christianity has often been held responsible for promoting the flat Earth theory. Yet it was only a handful of so-called intellectual scholars throughout the centuries, claiming to represent the Church, who held to a flat Earth. Most of these were ignored by the Church, yet somehow their writings made it into early history books as being the ‘official Christian viewpoint’.

  1. Lactantius

The earliest of these flat-Earth promoters was the African Lactantius (AD 245–325), a professional rhetorician who converted to Christianity mid-life.

He rejected all the Greek philosophers, and in doing so also rejected a spherical Earth. His views were considered heresy by the Church Fathers and his work was ignored until the Renaissance (at which time some humanists revived his writings as a model of good Latin, and of course, his flat Earth view also was revived).

  1. Cosmas Indicopleustes and Church Fathers

Next was sixth century Eastern Greek Christian, Cosmas Indicopleustes, who claimed the Earth was flat and lay beneath the heavens (consisting of a rectangular vaulted arch). His work also was soundly rejected by the Church Fathers, but liberal historians have usually claimed his view was typical of that of the Church Fathers.

Many such historians have simply followed the pattern of others without checking the facts. In fact, most of the Church Fathers did not address the issue of the shape of the Earth, and those who did regarded it as ‘round’ or spherical.

  1. Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle

In 1828, American writer Washington Irving (author of Rip Van Winkle) published a book entitled The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. It was a mixture of fact and fiction, with Irving himself admitting he was ‘apt to indulge in the imagination’.

Its theme was the victory of a lone believer in a spherical Earth over a united front of Bible-quoting, superstitious ignoramuses, convinced the Earth was flat. In fact, the well-known argument at the Council of Salamanca was about the dubious distance between Europe and Japan which Columbus presented — it had nothing to do with the shape of the Earth.

  1. Later writers repeated the error

In 1834, the anti-Christian Letronne falsely claimed that most of the Church Fathers, including Augustine, Ambrose and Basil, held to a flat Earth. His work has been repeatedly cited as ‘reputable’ ever since.

In the late nineteenth century, the writings of John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White were responsible for promoting the myth that the church taught a flat Earth. Both had Christian backgrounds, but rejected these early in life.

Englishman Draper convinced himself that with the downfall of the Roman Empire the ‘affairs of men fell into the hands of ignorant and infuriated ecclesiastics, parasites, eunuchs and slaves’ — these were the ‘Dark Ages’. Draper’s work, History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874), was directed particularly against the Roman Church, and was a best seller.

Meanwhile White (who founded Cornell University as the first explicitly secular university in the United States), published the two-volume scholarly work History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, in 1896.

Both men incorrectly portrayed a continuing battle through the Christian era between the defenders of ignorance and the enlightened rationalists. In fact, not only did the church not promote the flat Earth, it is clear from such passages as Isaiah 40:22 that the Bible implies it is spherical. (Non-literal figures of speech such as the ‘four corners of the Earth’ are still used today.)

  1. Encyclopedias erase the myth

While many will have lost their faith through the writing of such men as Irving, Draper and White, it is gratifying to know that the following encyclopædias now present the correct account of the Columbus affair: The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1985), Colliers Encyclopædia (1984), The Encyclopedia Americana (1987) and The World Book for Children (1989).

There is still a long way to go before the average student will know that Christianity did not invent or promote the myth of the flat Earth.

Author: Adapted by Ian Taylor for Creation Science Association of Ontario, Feature No. 30, from the book Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus & Modern Historians (ISBN 027595904X), by history professor Jeffrey Burton Russell. Summarized by Paula McKerlie. Further modified March 2004.


For detailed Biblical analysis refuting skeptical charges, see other articles under Q&A:Countering the Critics: Does the Bible really teach a flat Earth?




Does the Bible really teach a flat earth?


Did Bible writers believe the Earth was flat?

Did Bible writers believe the Earth was flat? (Christian Answers Network)

Flat-Earth Hey Day came with Darwin

The Myth of the Flat Earth (Summary by Jeffrey Burton Russell, author of the book Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus & Modern Historians (ISBN 027595904X), off-site)

The Bible refers to ‘the four corners of the earth’. How can a spherical earth have corners? (Christian Answers Network)

Are (biblical) creationists ‘cornered’?—a response to Dr J.P. Moreland (The Bible talks of ‘the four corners of the earth’. Does this mean the days of creation could be non-literal, too?)

‘Pillars of the Earth’ — Does the Bible teach a mythological cosmology?

What Shape is the Earth In? An Evaluation of Biblical Cosmology (Tekton Apologetics Ministries)

Is the ’erets (earth) flat? Equivocal language in the geography of Genesis 1 and the Old Testament: a response to professing evangelical Paul Seely (Semi-technical)

Seely’s response to above, plus author’s reply

Who Invented the Flat Earth? (Flat earth myth revisited)

Creation and the Flat Earth (Dr Danny Faukner, Creation Matters, 1997)

Is Earth Really Round? (ICR Dr. John’s Q&A article)