The 144,000

Sermon Text:
Revelation 7:1-17

We are in the third division of the book of Revelation – those (things) that are to take place after this (1:19). Chapters 6-18 reveal the events of the seven year Tribulation. The Tribulation will begin with the signing of the seven year covenant between Antichrist and Israel (Dan. 9:27). Chapter six reveals the first of three series of judgments that take place during the Tribulation. Some scholars believe the Seven Seal Judgments will take place in the first quarter of the seven year Tribulation, that is, during the first 21 months of the Tribulation (see Chart on page 5).

The first four seal judgments follow one another in a cause and effect relationship: the Antichrist sets out to conquer the world, war breaks out resulting in famine and mass death from starvation, disease and wild animals (6:1-8). The fifth seal judgment reveals that all during the first half of the Tribulation persecution and martyrdom will break out against followers of Jesus (6:9-11). With the sixth seal judgment, God will shake heaven and earth producing catastrophic destruction (6:12-17). The seventh seal judgment reveals a half hour of silence in heaven and preparation of the next series of judgments called the Trumpet Judgments (8:1-2).

Notice in your Bible that the seventh seal judgment (8:1-2) is separated from the sixth seal judgment (6:12-17) by chapter 7. Chapter 7 is a parentheses, an interlude in the flow of action for the purpose of explaining something mentioned in chapter six. Let’s begin by reviewing the sixth Seal Judgment paying particular attention to the closing statement of verse 17.

Paul confronts two problems. First, the union of believers one with another was being violated.

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