Six seals are open to far, now we pause for something important – it’s in the Bible, it has to be important, right?!
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.
2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
We pause the judgement and wrath until we have sealed the servants of our God…
Then, John lists what he heard as the number sealed, 144,000 from every tribe of the sons of Israel. Apparently, there are more than 20 ways of listing the tribes of Israel, so it is again significant how they are listed here. However, we aren’t told for certain, so at best we can guess, and, really, the most likely solution to the listing of the tribes here is that they represent converted Jews who are on the earth during the Great Tribulation who endure the suffering and actually turn to Jesus through it. Quite a specific group of people then, but God always does save a remnant of His chosen people, doesn’t He.
Those saved and sealed are called the servants of our God, and then because of this they are sealed. Live a life pleasing to God, be sealed and saved.
So, for us, are we living lives that are pleasing to God? Are we sealed and saved? In the words of Stevie Wonder, are we signed, sealed, delivered?
In John 6 Jesus said ‘…Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”’ (v.27).’
Seek first the Kingdom of God, work towards eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus and God has sealed us.
Paul in his letters wrote
‘And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.’ (2 Corinthians 1.21-22)
‘In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.’
‘And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 1.13, 4.30)
God seals us with the Holy Spirit, we are sealed as a guarantee, as a deposit, as a downpayment of our ultimate redemption and of the heritance of eternal life that is ours through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
The saved Israelites in Revelation 7 were saved and sealed because they were living the lives of servants of God, putting His will first, doing His work above and before their own, doing everything they could to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Is that something we are doing? If we are, then as Stevie (loosely) said, we’re signed, we’re sealed, and we will be delivered.