Messages

The 144,000 and the Great Revival

Date:10/10/21

Series: Revelation (2021)

Passage: Revelation 7:1-17

Speaker: Jeff Thompson

Before the final seal judgment is opened, God pushes the PAUSE button to do something amazing involving the mysterious 144,000 and the greatest revival the world will ever see…


Transcription (automatically-generated):

Have you heard the rumor? There are those who are saying that the book of Revelation is hard to understand. I know, I know. But to them we say folly because we can only conclude they are unaware that the word itself. Revelation means something has been revealed.

And the first words of this book tell us who it is that's being revealed. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. And God wanted us to read this book so much that he promised those who take the time to read and respond to it a special blessing. And we find that in Revelation, chapter one, verses three, let's read it together. It says, Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near.

But God knew there would still be those who would claim it's just so hard to understand. So we also included an easy to follow outline. And we find that in chapter one, verses 19, where Jesus gives John these instructions right, the things which you have seen that refers to the resurrected and glorified Jesus which John saw in chapter one. Then he's told to also write the things which are that relates to the Church age, which began around 32 Ad, continues to the present day and is prophesied in chapter two and three, and then on is told to write about the things which will take place.

I after this future events that take place after the Church age ends, and those events make up the third act of Revelation.

And they begin in chapter four. Verses One, let me read it to you. After these things, John says, I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard, the voice of Jesus in chapter one was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. And up John goes, serving as a picture of the Church who will be raptured to be with the Lord at the end of the Church age.

Jesus takes all of chapters four and five to make sure we don't miss the fact that the Church is with Him in heaven before wrath is poured out on the Earth that has rejected him in Revelation sinned. 16 Those on the Earth reveal they know and understand the source of their catastrophes, identifying it as the wrath of the Lamb. And in the Bible the Lamb speaks of whom Jesus. That's right. Chapter One introduces the focus of Revelation Jesus Christ.

Chapter two and three take us through the Church age up to the present day. The Church goes up in chapter four, verses one, we see her in heaven for chapter four and five before wrath comes down in chapter six, that wrath will continue for seven years, known as the Tribulation, and it's documented in chapter six through 19, which is when Jesus returns to the Earth with his Church in what is known as the Second Coming, and there'll be even more revealed in those amazing final few chapters of this book.

But here's what you need to know for now. If you love Jesus, then your story will end with the words and they live happily ever after. In Revelation six, we read about the beginning of the Tribulation when God's wrath will begin to fall upon the Earth that has rejected him.

As difficult as that subject can be. Without an understanding of God's righteous, judgment, and wrath, we cannot properly appreciate our Salvation, understand what happened to Jesus on the cross, or understand what we've been saved from grasping the reality that we deserve wrath, but have instead received mercy is what makes the gospel good news for most of us. The subject of God's wrath is difficult not because it is illogical but because of the names and faces that come to mind. A spouse, a sibling, a friend, and were filled with dread at the thought of them running out of time to be saved.

If that's you, you're going to be encouraged by this chapter.

In fact, we're going to learn that there may be more people saved in the Tribulation than in all the years that preceded it. But before we get into that, I want to remind you of something I mentioned briefly in an earlier study. Chapter two and three focus entirely on the Church and the Church age. When the Church is removed from the Earth in the Rapture, God's focus will return to ethnic Israel throughout the Bible. We're told that in the last days God will bring ethnic Israel back into her homeland.

For example, listen to what God spoke through the Prophet Zechariah. He said, Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding Peoples when they lay siege against Judah. Judah is a reference to the country of Israel as they lay siege to Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all Peoples. All who would he ve it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the Earth are gathered against it.

And then it goes on and says, But Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place. Jerusalem. God is driving home the point that in the last days he's going to restore Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. And it's going to be a real problem for the rest of the world. Sadly, many Christians today are frustrated by the fact that Israel has become a nation and choose to align themselves with the Palestinian cause.

These misguided believers forget that God is the one behind Israel's National resurgence. In these last days, heaven forbid professing Christians resist or protest the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Then we see that at the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will reveal himself to his people Israel with remarkable results, he says in Zechariah 1210, I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of Grace and supplication. Then they will look on me whom they pierced underline pierced. If you're there with me, yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a first born before the seven years of the Tribulation ends before Jesus returns to the Earth with his Royal priesthood.

At the second coming, the Bible says Israel will recognize Jesus as her Messiah. Now I had you underline the word pierced in Zechariah prophecy, because I can't resist mentioning this anytime it comes up. It predicts the method of Jesus's death around 500 years before Jesus was even born. And that's noteworthy because at that time the method of execution in Israel was stoning, not crucifixion. In fact, crucifixion wouldn't even be invented until a couple of hundred years later.

Just one small and really incredible bit of prophecy from the word of God. Writing about Israel's fate in the Great Tribulation, the Prophet Joel pen these words given to him by the Lord, he said, and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams. Your young men shall see visions, and also on my Amen servants, and on my maid servants, I will pour out my spirit in those days, and I will show wonders in the heavens and in the Earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke, the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood.

Remember, we saw that happen in Revelation Sinned twelve at the 6th seal judgment before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord, and it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved for a Mount Zion. And in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said among the remnant whom the Lord calls. And then in Zechariah 13 six, it's on your outlines. We read this incredible interaction that will take place when Jesus reveals himself as Messiah to ethnic Israel.

And one will say to him, what are these wounds between your arms?

Then he will answer those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. You see, even though they arranged his murder, Jesus still calls Israel his friends present tense, and if Jesus calls them his friends, then there is no place for antisemitism among believers. Revelation six ended with the people of Earth crying out the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand? Revelation Seven is going to answer that question by telling us about two groups, the sealed servants in verses one through eight, and the saved servants in verses nine through 17.

Let's jump in at verses one.

Revelation chapter seven. After these things, I saw four Angels standing at the four corners of the Earth holding the four winds of the Earth, that the wind should not blow on the Earth, on the sea or on any tree. Last week we saw the devastating effects of the first six seals being opened, including the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Antichrist war, famine and death. The Four Horsemen were not events but ongoing judgments in the Tribulation. In other words, they start and then they continue for the rest of the Tribulation and for reasons we don't have time to explore today.

I'll just let you know that it makes the most sense to view the Four Winds as the Four Horsemen. So write this down. The Four Winds are the Four Horsemen from Revelation six. Verses one through eight. Suddenly, before the 7th seal is opened, God pushes the pause button on everything to give those on the Earth a moment to reflect and repent.

And in the midst of the tribulation, we are going to see God gloriously pour out as mercy in an astonishing way. Let's keep reading verses two. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God underline seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four Angels to whom it was granted to harm the Earth and the sea. Saying the pause button is pushed and an angel gives these instructions to his brethren.

Do not harm the sea. I'm sorry, the Earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. You see, this type of sealing was a reference to the shipping trade of John's Day. If you wanted to move cargo from one place to another, you would pour some hot wax on your items and then press your Signet ring into the wax, leaving the marked with your personal unique seal. When that cargo reached the end of its journey, the only person who would be able to claim it would be someone who had a matching Signet ring.

In other words, you or someone that you had given a copy to the servants in verses three are going to be marked. They're going to be sealed as God's property. There are some who attempt to apply an environmental agenda to verse three, claiming it proves God's overriding concern for nature. Even in the Tribulation, those who hold this view should note the presence of the word Till, which tells us that this is just a pause before the Earth, the sea and the trees are harmed by the wrath of God.

So who are the servants of our God?

Let's find out verses four, and I heard the number of those who were sealed. 144 Zeus. And then please, underline this of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed. While not as popular as guest, the Antichrist, there are still many who enjoy a good round of guess 1440. Several groups have claimed to be the 144,000, especially over the last century or so.

I'm going to mention some of them here. And if you're offended, please do some of your own research before you email me because everything I'm telling you is factual religious history. Most of you have probably heard the 144,000 referenced in relation to Jehovah's Witnesses. Their movement was founded with the teaching that JWS would be the 144,000. That was all well and good until the 1930s, when the number of JWS began to exceed 1440.

But it wasn't anything that couldn't be solved by a few theological tweaks. The identity of the 144 Zeus was revised to be a group chosen by God to go to heaven from where they will rule over all the other believers who will be spending eternity on a remade paradise like Earth. So now there's room for everybody. Brigham Young, the second President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, claimed the Mormons or the 144 Zeus. However, they too grew beyond that number and had to revise their theology.

At a minimum, both groups are guilty of the sin of failing to plan ahead. Lang White, the founder of 7th Day Adventism, said quote, Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the 144 Zeus. End Quote And while most 7th Day Adventists would no longer believe or teach that their founder clearly did suffice to say all these groups were way off because as you've probably discerned by now, the only way to be part of the 144 Zeus is to be a member of Gospel City Church.

I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.

Who are the 144,000 really? Verses four? Let's take a look at it again. It says, and I heard the number of those who were sealed. 144 Zeus and I had you underline this of all the tribes of the Children of Israel were sealed.

We can save ourselves much confusion by just noting what the text plainly says. These 1440 are of all the tribes of the children of Israel. In other words, they're Jewish, and I just want to slip in one really important point here for my friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses. I want to offer this challenge regarding the 144,000. How does it make any kind of sense to claim the number 144,000 is literal, but their ethnicity is allegorical.

How can you switch your interpretation from literal to allegorical in the same sentence of the same verses without any type of hermeneutical justification? The truth is that you can't regarding the identity of the 144 Zeus, Jehovah's Witnesses hold to a theology based on what they want the text to say rather than what it plainly says. But God knew people were going to get weird regarding the identity and the ethnicity of the 144 Zeus. He knew people would try to allegorize it or dismiss it as merely figurative.

So the Lord was as redundant as plain and as specific as he could possibly be.

To avoid any confusion, the Lord used a bunch of real estate in the Book of Revelation to list out exactly where these 144,000 come from and who they are. Beginning in verses five. They are of the tribe of Judah. Twelve Zeus were sealed of the tribe of Reuben. 12,000 were sealed of the tribe of Gad.

12,000 were sealed of the tribe of Ashur. 12,000 were sealed of the tribe of Naftali, 12,000 were sealed of the tribe of Manassa, 12,000 were sealed of the tribe of Simon. We Zeus were sealed of the tribe of Levi. Twelve Zeus were sealed of the tribe of Isakar. Twelve Zeus were sealed of the tribe of Zebulin.

Twelve Zeus were sealed of the tribe of Joseph. Twelve Zeus were sealed of the tribe of Benjamin. 12,000 were sealed. I get the feeling that when somebody says, you know, I don't think that's talking about Jews, that God must be thinking, just stop. Just stop.

What do you want me to do? It's right there. Just read it. I numbered them. I named the tribes.

I said explicitly. They are from the tribes of Israel. Now, obviously God doesn't do that. He's all knowing. And so he is somehow never surprised by our stupidity.

When we reach Revelation 14, verses three to four, we're going to read this about the 144 Zeus. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one could learn that song except the 144 Zeus who were redeemed from the Earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women for their virgins. Here's what we know from Scripture.

The 1440 are male Jewish virgins who evangelize the world and are supernaturally marked. They're sealed by God, enabling them to survive the Tribulation. They will not be saved at the time of the Rapture because they are still on the Earth after the Rapture. But in the midst of the Tribulation, they will receive the revelation that Jesus is Messiah and they will follow him. So write this down.

The 1440 are ethnically Jewish Amen who are set apart and sealed by God to evangelize the world during the great Tribulation. The 1440 are ethnically Jewish Amen who are set apart and sealed by God to evangelize the world during the Great Tribulation. And when you think about it, why would you want to be in the 1440? Why would you you want to be on Earth in the Tribulation when you could be in heaven with the Lord? The latter sounds like a much better plan to me.

Sadly, many scholars and pastor across the centuries have refused to acknowledge the Jewish ethnicity of the 144 Zeus because they believe in replacement theology. They believe that God is through with the Jew. And so when ethnic Israel comes up in Eschatology, they are precommitted to find an alternative explanation because regardless of how plain the text is. If the literal Jewish ethnicity of the 144 Zeus is acknowledged, then replacement theology must be abandoned. When God seals these 144,000 Jewish missionaries, nobody, including Antichrist, will be able to touch them.

They're going to be supernaturally protected by the Lord during this time. And this is not without biblical precedent for those who are interested in Ezekiel. Nine verses three through five. It records a time when the nation of Israel was rejecting God and he needed to step in, and these verses serve as a type, as a preview, as a prophetic. Look ahead to what's going to unfold during the trade.

Latin, it says now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the chair of where it had been to the threshold of the temple. And he called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writers in corn at his side. And the Lord said to him, there's a whole story behind this, but I just want us to focus here on what the Lord says next. Go through the midst of the city through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a Mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.

You see God marks, and he seals those who are his, those in this case who were grieving over Israel's sin to the others, he said in my hearing, go after him through the city and kill.

Do not let your eyes spare, nor have any pity. Several times in the Old Testament, God sealed his people before he poured out justice and wrath on those who were hostile to him. That's what we're seeing take place here in Revelation Seven, God is sealing the 144 Zeus before the wrath continues in Revelation Eight. As I shared last week, I suspect that at the 6th Seal judgment, something changed dramatically and the spiritual dimension became perceivable to those on the Earth in some way. So I suspect that those on the Earth will be somehow able to perceive the seal God places on the 144,001 of the questions that people have wrestled with is, how can the DNA of the twelve tribes still be pure after two0 years of intertribal marriage among the Jews, while without getting into the technical details, a research paper was published in 997 that revealed incredibly Jewish males with Levitical heritage carry distinct, unique genetic markers.

And this method of testing has now been employed for over 15 years to identify Amen qualified to serve in the priesthood of a new Third Temple. You see, for 2000 years, God was able to keep the DNA of the tribes of Israel intact. And I point that out just to remind us that when God makes a plan, he dot the eyes and he crosses the T's, he's got all the angles covered. So when God says he's going to have 12,000 men from each of the twelve tribes ready to serve as evangelists and the great Tribulation.

We don't need to worry about the details.

There's nothing worth thinking of that God hasn't already thought of and taken care of. If you examine the twelve tribes listed in verses five through eight and compare it to other places in Scripture that list the twelve tribes, you'll notice that the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are missing. The tribes of Levi and Joseph, Ephraim's father are listed in their place. This is likely because both Dan and Ephram became heavily involved in idolatry and in so doing forfeited their role in the minute history of the 144 Zeus.

However, both tribes will be redeemed and present.

When Jesus reigns over Israel and the world in the millennial Kingdom, the 144 Zeus will go out into the world as the most effective evangelists the world has ever known, and through them in Earth's darkest hour, Israel will finally fulfill her original calling to be a light to the nations. For those who like to investigate these things further, I encourage you to pour over Isaiah 49 this week. It's an astonishing prophecy that includes much of what we are discussing in this study and much of Gods and Times agenda.

Let's jump back into Revelation chapter seven. At verses nine, it says after these things, so the next vision, John sees the next thing that he goes to the next scene he's shown and he says, I looked and behold a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, Peoples and tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands.

In verses 14, we will discover that this great multitude is not the Church or Old Testament Saints, but the fruit of the evangelism of the 144 Zeus. Would you write that down? This is this great multitude, the fruit of the evangelism of the 144 Zeus. Their Ministry will be so effective that John says, no one could number those who will turn to Jesus and be saved through it. The fact that those save will be from all nations, tribes, Peoples, and tongues tells us that the 144,000 will Minister worldwide to everybody during the Tribulation.

People will be saved in ways that have never been seen in all of human history. And don't miss this little nugget either. How does John know that these people are from all nations, tribes, people, and tongues? I suggest it's because he can see it in their physical appearance and hear it in the way that they speak insane clearly in Heaven, ethnic differences don't completely disappear. We don't all become clones.

Our ethnic differences seem to be eternal. And so that means that God wants those differences to exist because in some way they bring glory to Him. He is blessed by the diversity and the different expressions of worship. You see, heaven doesn't resolve ethnic tensions by removing our ethnic differences. It resolves ethnic tensions by redeeming or ethnic differences before the throne of God.

And that's possible because we are all equal before the throne of God. We're all sinners who could not save ourselves. We're all redeemed Saints by the Grace of God. We are all adopted children of the Father. We're brothers and sisters, not just in theory, but in a truer sense than our relationship with our earthly siblings.

Diversity becomes a celebration when our perspective is consumed by Jesus. So Lord give us more of that perspective here and now. We also noticed that these Saints worship Jesus with palm branches in their hands. This recalls Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem to finally publicly present himself as Messiah, the Savior King of the world. John 1213 tells us the crowd who greeted Jesus were waving palm branches.

The other place we see palm branches used in worship pertains to the three main annual Jewish feasts. It's a fascinating study, but I'll give you the super summary. The Feast of Passover was established in the Old Testament to help Israel remember the way God freed them from slavery in Egypt, specifically how the Lord broke Egypt's will through the 10th plague, the death of every first born of the Egyptians. If any Israeli family followed God's instructions and painted the blood of a lamb on their door posts, death would Passover their household.

Jesus became the greater Passover Lamb when he was crucified on a Passover for all sins, past, present and future, saving us from eternal death.

The second feast, the Feast of Pentecost, was established by the Lord to help Israel remember when the giving of the law took place, specifically the Ten Commandments. The Holy Spirit first came upon believers in Acts chapter Two. On the day of Pentecost, it was the greater Pentecost, just as Jesus became the greater Passover lamb when he was crucified on Passover for all sins, God fulfilled Passover and Pentecost with greater versions in the Hebrew calendar. These two spring feasts are followed by a long summer and then a final major feast in the fall.

I agree with many Bible scholars who hold that the long summer parallels the Church age, the roughly 2000 years of Church history, and the reason I believe that is because the final feast is the feast of trumpets and Tabernacles.

The theast of trumpets is a oneday event. If you research it, you'll discover that it's not really for the purpose of remembering anything. All God tells Israel is that it's a Holy day. It's a day of rest and a day to blow trumpets. And that's very interesting when you consider that the feast of trumpets has not yet been fulfilled in a greater way, as Passover and Pentecost have.

Most people myself included, agree that it speaks prophetically of the Rapture. Do you remember what Paul wrote about the Rapture in first Thessalonians 416 for the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of an Archangel and with the trumpet of God. Then we have the feast of Tabernacles, sometimes called the Feast of Booths. God had the Israelites make booths out of branches and wood and live in them for a week while they worshiped him. This helped them remember that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt, which is always a picture of the world in Scripture.

And while they were in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, Israel lived in temporary shelters booths. This feast has also not been fulfilled in a greater way. I believe it will be when we arrive in heaven and spend a temporary season there during the Tribulation before returning to the Earth with Jesus to reign with Him for the Millennium. And here's the connection to palm branches. The only other place in the Bible where they are used in worship is when they are listed by God as one of the items to be used in building booths to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles.

John sees these tribulation Saints in heaven worshiping Jesus and waving palm branches. Verses ten and crying out with a loud voice saying, Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the lamb. Did you notice that they're not whining? In fact, there's no whining in heaven and all the parents of children said, Amen, they're not saying, Lord, how could you let us go through that? How could you let me be beheaded?

They're saying, thank you, Lord. The Tribulation is what brought us to you. It's what got us here. You are good and right in your judgments. Are you whining about something that God is allowing you to go through in order that you might be brought closer to Him or to him for the first time.

Verses Eleven All the Angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen. This is a snapshot of heaven caught up in the worship of the Lord in awe of what he has done and how he has done it. Verses 13 then one of the elders answered saying to me, who are these arrayed in white robes?

And where did they come from?

And I said to him, sir, you know, John's really saying, I don't know you live here. So you already know. John recognized the Church in chapter four and five, but he doesn't recognize this multitude and that's because they're not the Church. But we noticed that the Angels are thrilled by the presence of this multitude. Jesus told us that when one person joins the family of God, all of heaven breaks out and praise.

So just imagine the celebration that breaks out when this multitude begins to arrive in heaven because this is who they are. Let's keep reading. So he said to me, and then underline this. These are the ones who come out of the great Tribulation and wash their robes and made them white in the blood of the land. This is the same group that we saw when the fifth seal was opened in chapter six, verses nine through eleven.

At that point the group included those who were martyred for turning to Jesus in the first half of the Tribulation, when John sees this vision, where in the second half of the Tribulation and the 144 Zeus has been preaching the Gospel across the Earth, and as a result the number of those saved has swelled to a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, Peoples, and tongues. John had recorded the seven letters Jesus wrote to the seven churches. John was aware that only one small Church of the seven will still exist and be faithfully following Jesus.

When the Rapture occurs. John had seen by this time the chaos and destruction of the Tribulation.

John had heard Jesus say, Narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. So imagine John's joy when the Elder explained, These are those who turn to Jesus in the Tribulation, I would wager that almost all of us have people in our lives who don't know the Lord and for whom we care deeply. Keep the faith, have hope. Keep asking the Lord to open their eyes to the gospel, keep praying for them, keep preaching to them and write this down.

Because the greatest revival the world has ever seen will take place after the Rapture, the greatest revival the world has ever seen will take place after the Rapture.

All those seeds you sow into their lives are going to be given every possible chance to grow in the Tribulation. When God will do absolutely everything to bring people into his family. They might not respond today, but the Lord may well use your faithfulness to prime their hearts to respond during the Tribulation. To recap the Church. The 144,000 and Tribulation Saints are distinct and separate groups.

Write this down. The Church is promised to be kept from the Tribulation. We saw that in Revelation 310, remember where Jesus said, because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the Earth. We learned in verses four that the 144 Zeus will be preserved through the Tribulation. And here in verses 14 were told there was a multitude that come out of the great Tribulation.

They lose their lives on the Earth during the Tribulation and are not part of the Church. Verses 15 Speaking of this great multitude that come out of the Tribulation, therefore they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple. And he who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore. The Son shall not strike them nor any heat.

Apparently, whatever these believers just come from, they had been experiencing hunger, thirst, and oppressive heat. We talked about those conditions in our previous study and how they relate to the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Verses 17 for the Lamb, who was in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. During the tribulation, there will be a great deal of tear shed. But God tells these Saints that all ends now.

You're here. Nothing bad is ever going to happen to you again. For the sake of further clarity, let's highlight the differences between the Church and the Tribulation Saints. This is on your outline. The Church is kept from the Tribulation.

While these Saints come out of the tribulation. John recognizes the Church in chapter four and five but has no idea who the multitude are. The Church receives crowns as rewards, but these Saints do not. The Church has Harps in their hands. While the Tribulation Saints have palm branches.

The Church sits on God's throne with Jesus. While these Saints stand before the throne, the Church will reign with Jesus while these Saints serve Him night and day in his temple. It's a wonderful thing, but it's not as wonderful as reigning with the Lord. As an aside, the temple referred to in verses 15 will be on the Earth in the Millennium. We know this because Revelation 21 22 tells us when the new heavens and Earth are created, there will be no temple building for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

The Church and the Tribulation Saints will have very different experiences and roles in the Millennium and in heaven. Right now we can live lives empowered by the Holy Spirit. We have the opportunity to serve Jesus in the Tribulation. There won't really be an opportunity to serve Jesus only to die for Jesus. Everyone in heaven will have a wonderful and glorious experience.

But I need to be clear. It will be significantly better in eternity to be part of the Church than to spend eternity as a tribulation Saint. Those who serve Jesus now before the Rapture and Tribulation will receive a higher level of greatness. There's just no other way to say it a higher level of greatness in eternity, and that's something we should all desire. If you think that sounds weird, just remember what Jesus told Thomas when he appeared to him after the resurrection.

He said, Thomas, because you have seen me. You have believed blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. The signs that Jesus told us to watch for. The signs he said would Mark the last days leading up to the Rapture have become dramatically clearer, more frequent, and more obvious in our lifetimes. So if the Bible is true and it is then this is all going to come to fruition in the very near future.

Jesus really is going to come back for his Church. And after that happens, a lot of people are going to start saying it was true. It wasn't just a fairytale. It was really true. And at that moment, many people will realize they need to give their lives to Jesus, which will cost them their earthly lives.

We talked earlier about Palm Sunday and the crowd that cried out, Hosea, Hosanna, Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, they were referencing Psalms that spoke prophetically of Messiah. But the Scriptures had prophesied in even greater detail about Palm Sunday. The triumphal entry in Daniel 925, the exact day of this event was laid out and Jesus showed up to fulfill the date. So why weren't the streets packed with Jews anticipating the arrival of Messiah?

Well, a long time, hundreds of years had passed without anything happening. And even though the Bible talked very specifically about when Messiah would appear over time, people began to dismiss those prophecies as allegorical. And as a result, even though Jesus rode into Jerusalem exactly when the Bible said Messiah would, there were probably a few hundred or a few thousand people waiting for him at the most. In a city that was packed with up to 3 million people at the time for the feast of Passover, nobody sent out an invitation.

Apparently these people read or heard the Scriptures and just believe them and showed up expecting God to keep His word.

They had their palm branches and they were ready. But do you remember how the story goes after writing in Jerusalem as Messiah, Jesus looks over the city and weeps. He cries out, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if you had known even you, especially in this, your day, the things that make for your peace. But now they're hidden from your eyes. Then he goes on to say, Today, your house is left unto you, desolate, why don't miss this?

Because you did not know the time of your visitation. Jesus held Israel responsible for not recognizing the time in which they lived and said, Because of that, your house is left unto you, desolate. And we all know the story. Not even 40 years later, Israel was wiped out. The temple was destroyed and they would not exist as a nation until almost 2000 years later.

I say all that to say this. Don't miss the signs. Don't miss what the Bible says about when Jesus will come again. He laid it out in Scripture for his first coming, and he has laid it out in Scripture for his second coming.

We read about the 144,000 new will be sealed by God, making Satan unable to touch them. They will be God's property. Even in the worst days the world has ever seen. He will protect them. He will not lose even one of them.

And that fills my heart with hope, because in Ephesians 113 and 14, Paul writes using similar verbiage and the same concept of sealing one's property. It's on your outlines, he says in Him, you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your Salvation, in whom also having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchase possession to the praise of His glory. When you give your life to Jesus, you really do become His property.

As we just read, he then seals you not with wax, but with the Holy Spirit. No matter how much Satan may want to steal you, he can't because the Holy Spirit inside of you marks you as Jesus property.

And Jesus will be there on the other side of your journey, waiting for you because you belong to Him. Whatever difficulties you're facing in life at this time, I pray you would find a deep, transcendent peace that is rooted in the glorious truth that you've been sealed with the Holy Spirit. You belong to Jesus. And Ephesians 430 tells us we've been sealed for the day of redemption. There's a day coming when Jesus is going to say one way or another, your mind come home to me.

Now, let's pray. Would you buy your head and close your eyes? Jesus, thank you that for those who have given their lives to you, we know our future is certain. We've been sealed with your Holy Spirit. And so Jesus, thank you that it doesn't depend on us.

It doesn't depend on our successes are failures. But it depends on the fact that you do not ever lose that which belongs to you. And so thank you that in such an uncertain world, we can have this unwavering and certain peace. We belong to you. Thank you, Lord.

We pray for all those in our lives who don't know you and Lord, we want them to come to a knowledge of you now so that they can live for you and bring glory to you with their lives and enjoy the benefits an eternity of living for you. We want them to know the peace and the joy and the hope that only you can bring. But, Lord, we also pray for those who are not open right now. Lord, help us to not give up, help us to be faithful, to plant those seeds, to share the gospel, to walk through the doors that you open, to share the truth, to share hope.

Lord God, knowing that the greatest revival of the world has ever seen is yet to come.

So, Lord, we pray, draw many to you and use us Lord freely to do it. Give us the boldness that the disciples and the early believers pray for Lord, that we might be a light for you in our lifetime. And I just want to say if you're here and you're watching this and you haven't given your life to Jesus. I want to invite you to do that right now by just going to our website at Gospel City. A gospel and watching the gospel video there.

Go do that right now. If you haven't given your life to Jesus yet so Lord, we love you. We bless you. We thank you. All of our hope is in you.

And all of our peace comes from you. In your name. We pray. Amen.

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