Mercy in the midst of judgment
What is the human reaction to the sixth seal because clearly there is a blindness to this degree of unbelief. At this juncture in the future seven year tribulation the whole world will understand this is the doing of Jesus Christ Himself. First they showed distain but at this point they are pleading for mercy.
(15) "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; (16) And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (17) For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Revelation 6: 15 - 17.
They acknowledged God and His existence but prayed to the inanimate rocks and mountains. Most people are like this in the world today so instead of trusting in Jesus Christ they cry out to something secular usually with passion. Sometimes it is fear or they could be involved in false worship. We need to have a reverential fear for God and our faith must be in the Son of God. Our passion needs to be for the truths of the kingdom of God. Just because a person professes a God does rule the universe does not necessarily mean Jesus Christ has any personal relevance to their lives. Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two different things.
There will be dread and terror that will seize on people in that awful day of the seven year tribulation. The degree of their fear will be they will actually call upon the mountains to fall upon them and the hills to cover these people because at this very moment they are experiencing the wrath of the Lamb. I do not know if Jesus Christ at this point will be visible or invisible but the inhabitants of this world will be very aware of His anger because they will be the recipients of His wrath. At this juncture the patience of the Lamb of God will run out and His anger will be exceedingly dreadful.
God does give people opportunities and seasons of grace but if the heart grows hard (in this case hearts) God also has His day of righteous wrath. "Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His Majesty." Isaiah 2:10. When this point comes in the day of the Lord people will respond in the belief the end of the world is at hand but there will still be many things that have to happen. When Jesus spoke to His disciples He said, "Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us." Luke 23:30. In Isaiah 63:4 the prophet wrote for the day of vengeance is in Mine heart. The response of people is not just in this passage but also in the Old Testament. "Thou, even Thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in Thy sight when once Thou art angry?" Psalm 76:7.
In the middle of these judgments people seem to be asking a question who is able to stand but Revelation chapter seven gives the answer to the question. Even in the midst of judgments on "Earth" God still remembers mercy. The reason why I wrote "Earth" is because the judgment of God in the afterlife has no grace. The whole world will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ even in the most horrifying time period. "And the gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14.
Six seals have been opened but before the seventh seal is unsealed this chapter (chapter seven) shows us a parenthetical view of worldwide evangelistic outreach to people that need Jesus Christ in their life. Even though the Bible does not directly say this but who better to give the gospel of the kingdom than the 144,000 Jewish people? This endeavor probably begins before the seven year tribulation begins but these Jews will probably be evangelists for the true Messiah. When they see the rapture of the church that will be one of the factors of their conversation to Jesus Christ.
The latter part of Revelation chapter seven shows part of their success in converting others to Jesus Christ because a great multitude from all nations, tongues and tribes are spoken of in the Bible. Not to repeat myself but I believe this is the martyrs in the entire age of grace.
At least 75% of the Bible shows the Hebrew race and it is these roots that bring forth the eternal purposes of God. This whole scenario beginning in Genesis chapter eleven. This is the chapter of who begat who all the way up to Abraham.
God promised Abraham a son and his lions would breed a race of people. The nation of Israel is chosen and blessed by God. This country is spoken of in greater detail as the book of Revelation progresses. There were various reasons for this but almost every author of the Bible was Jewish and the preservation of textual purity was once again from Jewish scribes.
In Matthew 1:1 the Bible says, "THE book of the generation of Je'sus Christ, the son of Da'vid, the son of A'bra - ham." Matthew 1:1. Then of course there are many "Begats" after this until verse eighteen when the Bible says, "Now the birth of Je'sus Christ was on the wise: When as His mother Ma'ry was espoused to Jo'seph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Ho'ly Ghost." Matthew 1:18. Jewish people have been good witnesses of God for four thousand years and during the future seven year tribulation this calling will get far more specific for Jesus Christ. The primary evangelists in the day of the Lord will be Jewish.
There is a national blindness in Israel as to who their true Messiah is; however, there have been certain select individuals that have accepted Jesus as their true Messiah since the first century called the believing remnant or Messianic Jews.
The Jewish people were dispersed and persecuted but there were unconditional promises regarding eternal blessings to the ancient Jewish patriarchs in the Bible so sometime in the future they will have special favor with God.
At this point in history we are in the age of grace and the church is comprised of Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ as of this writing unless you are reading this article on the other side of the rapture. If this is the case you are in the day of the Lord.
God has no intention of abandoning His chosen people (Jewish people). There is biblical proof and there is current event proof. The biblical proof is in Romans chapters 9 - 11. Chapter nine refers to election. Chapter ten refers to rejection and chapter eleven has a main theme of restoration. From a current event point of view Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37 prophesied that Israel would become a nation again when it was in total ruins. I am almost positive that people thought he totally lost it (Ezekiel) but in 1948 Israel became a country. In 1968 Israel won the six day war and Jerusalem became under the control of Israel. The war was a miracle but this is the work of a supernatural God that keeps His promises.
The national blindness of Israel as to who their true Messiah is written in the word of God. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Is'ra - el, until the fullness of the Gen'tiles be come in." Romans 11:25. At this very moment in time the rapture of the church will take place and a special attention will shift back to the Jewish people. The 144,000 Jews will be the representatives of God to take His redemptive message that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah. The empathies will be people have a responsibility to accept Him into their hearts as their Redeemer from their sins.
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." Revelation 7: 1 - 3.
Angels play a big part in the judgments of God. They will be given authority over weather and as a result the rest of nature will be affected in a bad way because it will be a horrible time. They will be given authority to hurt the earth. This harm will involve the earth, sea and trees. Wind can do much damage. Jesus spoke of strange weather in Luke chapter 21 for this future time of the day of the Lord.
Before the four angels are given the go ahead to do their job another angel appears coming up from the rising sea. This angel has the seal of the living God and he does "Seal" the special servants of God (the 144,000 Jews from the twelve tribes of Israel) who seem to be the witness of God during this period of time. Let me put it this way --- who better to do this work at this point in history? These people will be Jewish bond servants of God. This seal will be a visible mark of ownership.
This "Seal" is the exact same word as the sealing of the Holy Spirit for believers in Christ in the New Testament Epistles. There is also another verse in the New Testament that talks about the sealing of the Holy Spirit for believers. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Timothy 2:19. There is a direct connection between being a true Christian, having the seal of the Holy Spirit and departing from iniquity. We are called to live pure lives before God.
This seal will give these called out Jews an empowering to get the gospel of the kingdom out to the whole world. This mark will be the direct opposite of the mark of the beast but with this they will probably be marked men attacked by demonic forces. They will suffer in so many ways but some prophecy experts believe since they are seen on Mount Zion with Jesus Christ Himself in Revelation 14:1 - 5 they will be alive at the end of the seven year tribulation period. Not everyone believes this but some even believe that when Jesus Christ separates the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25:31 - 46 this will be a judgment on how people treated the 144,000 Jews which will determine their eternal salvation because one group is going into everlasting punishment and the other into eternal life according to Matthew 25:46. While all this seems to be conjecture it is interesting to put this on the table. This I do know God will not let us die until we are finished doing His work here on earth.
To sum up the first three verses the restraint laid on the winds seems to be symbolic of the mischief to the new believers in Christ in the previous chapter. It is literal but not without a symbolic meaning. The spirits directly opposed to God seems to be compared to the four winds trying to do harm to the kingdom of God. If ungodly people are shaken it is because they chose not to build their life on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. They are restrained by the calling of angels standing on the four corners of the earth. The spirit of error can not go forward unless God permits it so angels minister to the good of the tribulation saints by putting boundaries on their enemies. Their restraint was only for a season for the purpose of sealing the 144,000 in their foreheads. There will be an angel who will have the job of marking out and distinguishing the faithful servants of God. This seal will be put on their foreheads. 144,000 sounds like a small number in comparison to the population of the world but not if they are dispersed around the earth.
I think it is interesting that Jeremiah has something to say about the four winds of the earth. "And upon E'lam will 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 E'lam shall not come." Jeremiah 49:36. In Revelation 7:2 another angel will have the seal of the Living God but remember Peter cried out, "And Si'mon Pe'ter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:16.
If you do not know the Lord I hope you are at the place that Peter was when he said thou art the Christ the Son of the living God. Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life. If you just made that decision abide in Jesus Christ on a daily basis and do the will of God which is to be found in the word of God because down here on earth we find our hope in the Bible. God bless you Bob D.