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.
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,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
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,
Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
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.
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.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
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.
Why did God insert the account of the redemption of the 144,000 sealed Jews before finishing the record of the seven seals, describing the seventh one? It could be easy for one to assume after reading about the seal judgements that no one could get saved during such devastation. It is as if God stopped the account to let us know that in spite of what will occur on the earth, He will still save people. The activity of grace and men trusting in the Son of God for salvation will continue. John tells us that 144,000 Jews will be saved as well as “a great multitude that no one could count.” This group will be made up of all kinds of people. What a comfort to know that no matter how awful the circumstances may seem to us, or how wicked this world may yet get, God is still able to reach out and save people. In spite of what might be happening in their lives, there will be people who see their need to trust Christ. Who in your world needs to hear what Christ has done for them? Do not assume you know what response will be given or if their environment will negatively affect their decisions. Do not allow assumptions to hinder sharing.
Write down the names of people you care about whom you would love to see come to Christ.
What obstacles could keep you from sharing Christ with them?
How will you go about sharing Christ with them?
In light of this passage, what personal commitment can you make?