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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

Who Will Be Saved during The Great Tribulation?


< Revelation 7:1-17 >

"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. Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.' And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;

of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
After these things 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 with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' 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.'
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.' So he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 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 sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is 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.'"



Exegesis

Verse 1: "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."

This shows us that whether the wind of tribulations blows or not entirely depends on God's permission. God has decided that He would save 144,000 from the tribes of Israel and make them His people before allowing the Great Tribulation on this earth.


Verses 2-3: "Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.'"

Here, God commands the four angels who were granted to harm the earth and the seas not to harm the world until 144,000 Israelites are sealed. God told them, in other words, not to harm until 12,000 are chosen from each tribe of Israel and their foreheads are sealed with God's living seal. This was God's special command showing His particular care for the people of Israel.


Verse 4: "And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:"

Those who are sealed by God will receive special protection from God and His blessing of salvation even during the Great Tribulation of the end times.


Verses 5-9: "of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed. After these things 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 with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,"

This verse tells us the number of the sealed among the people of Israel—12,000 from each tribe of Israel will be sealed as the recipients of God's special grace. God will give salvation to 12,000 from each tribe of Israel and make them His people; this special grace will be bestowed on each tribe equally.

As God loved each tribe of Israel equally, He gave all of them the same blessing of becoming His people. God clothed the Israelites with this grace to fulfill His Word of promise given to Abraham and his descendants. As can thus be seen, God fulfills everything that He has promised and planned for the mankind.

This tells us that a great number of the Gentiles will also be saved during the Great Tribulation and become the people of God. There will be, in other words, a countless multitude among the Gentiles also who will be delivered from their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and be martyred with their faith in the end times. We must therefore remember that God works to make the Gentiles His people even until the very last days.


Verses 10-11: "and crying out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' 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,"

God bestows His grace of salvation even in the end times to both the Israelites and us, the Gentiles. Our Lord therefore is worthy to receive all worship, praise, and glory. For the saints, no one else but God alone is the object of all their worship.


Verse 12: "saying: 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.'"

All the ministers of God give praise to the Lord who is God. It is only proper that God would so receive all these praise and honor.


Verses 13-14: "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.' So he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'"

God will gather His last harvest after He raises the wind of the Great Tribulation to make the saints overcome their glorious martyrdom and defend their true faith.

When the first three and a half years of the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation pass, the saints will be harshly persecuted by the Antichrist and be martyred to defend their faith. This Tribulation of martyrdom is of a different dimension from any other tribulations that had proceeded in Church History; it will make an absolute demand for the faith of the saints who believe in God on this earth. Martyrdom is a great honor for the saints. Through their martyrdom, the saints can most clearly reveal their true faith in God. In the end times of the Great Tribulation, all the saints will defend their faith through their martyrdom, take part in their resurrection and rapture, and stand before the throne of God.


Verses 15-16: "'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 sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;'"

Those who have the true faith before God will be martyred in the end times of the Great Tribulation to defend their faith in the salvation of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God will therefore give the saints with such faith His special protection and blessing, and embrace them into His arms.

Having fought the Antichrist and been martyred and resurrected, the saints will never again die or suffer sadness in the Kingdom of God. They will forever live in the blessings given to the children of God. Those who live embraced in the arms of God will lack nothing, nor will they ever again suffer any harm or anguish from the evil. All that awaits them now is God's special reward, love, and glory that will be bestowed on them forever.


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Verse 17: "'for the Lamb who is 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.'"

God will be the eternal Shepherd of the saints and give them His eternal blessings. To reward for all the sufferings and martyrdom that the saints went through for the sake of the Lord while on this earth, God will lead them to the fountains of living water, allow them to break bread with the Lord before the throne of God, and clothe them eternally in His blessing to join Him in all His glory. Because the saints, while on this earth, had believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, lived a life of service for the glory of God, and were martyred for His name, God will allow those who thus defended their faith to live forever in the midst of His glory in the New Heaven and Kingdom. Hallelujah! Praise our Lord!

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