There is a lot of meaning and information packed in Revelation, even on the surface, without diving into the full symbolic nature of the writing. The style of writing with fantastic imagery suggests perhaps this is not all to be taken literally, but whether literal or not, it contains powerful information from our Creator.
1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. 2And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
4And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 6from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, 7from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 8from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.
A Multitude from the Tribulation
9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying,
“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” 14I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. 16“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
Just a few of the surface level key messages contained include:
- YHWH is in full control of what will happen to the earth. He has not lost control to man or Satan. Everything will ultimately play out according to His plans and in His timing.
- I believe the 144 thousand is symbolic in nature rather than literal. So too, it carries meaning that there will be people from every tribe. Notice how the end reflects the beginning. There is no discarding of the tribes or history of YHWH’s people as if something new has come. Without getting into the full depth here, I believe also that gentile believers are included in this representation.
- The tribulation will bring a great multitude to YHWH through Yeshua. They are cleansed through His blood. They will come from every nation and tribe. So the tribulation will bring about some good in bringing many to salvation, though it will be very hard.
- Glory and blessing and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power to YHWH forever and ever… Amen! Our God is worthy of every bit of praise we can ever give Him. The angels and all creation will worship Him.
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