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Rev. 7:1-8                                      THE 144,000
Intro:  Ill. The tribulation and the first 6 seals.  The seventh is not opened until ch.8:1.  
This is a parenthetical portion of scripture.  A lull in the strom if you will.  God stops 
the activity for a period of time to draw back the curtain and allow us a glimpse at His 
heart.  Men have rejected the grace of the Lamb and now, they must experience the 
wrath of the Lamb.  However, before He pours out the final judgmentsa upon the 
human race, God stops to answer a prayer prayed long ago by the prophet Habbakuk, 
in Hab. 3:2.  God is going to extend His mercy to a group of individuals.  This is 
encouraging to me!  In the midst of so much hatred, pain and judgment; it is good to 
know that the Lord will still be in the business of saving souls during the tribulation!  
Chapter 7 deals with two distinct groups of people.  Verses 1-8 deal exclusively with 
the Jews; verses 9-17 with gentiles.  We want to answer three questions tonight related 
to this first group.  1.  Who are they?  2.  What do they do?  3.  Are they living 
tonight?  Letís spend some time tonight looking at the 144,000.

  I.  V.1-2a                        HOW GOD PROTECTS THEM
    A.  BY EARTHLY RESTRAINTS - (4 is a prominent number, repeated three 
         times: angels, corners, winds) (4 Is the number of the world!)
	1. Angels - Messenger - Heb. 1:14
	2. Corners - Not flat - Isa. 40:22  4 Points of the compass.
	3. Winds - Type of Judgment - Hos. 8:7  Holding = restrained; Ill. Horses
    B.  BY HEAVENLY RESOURCES - A fifth angel - 5 number of grace - Rises 
	like 	the sun, Mal. 4:2  Could it be?  This angel comes to dispense grace to these 
	men. They are to be sealed by Godís seal.  (Ill. Seal = Protection - Noah, Ark; 
	Israel, Blood; Cain, Mark)

 II.  V.2b-3                          HOW GOD PRESERVES THEM
    A.  WHY THEY ARE SEALED - They are the servants of God!  (Il. Nothing else 
	can happen until they are sealed!)
	1.  A mark on the forehead.
	   A. Possession - Ill. Signet
	   B. Protection - Ill. Tomb
	   C. Preservation - (Ill. Canning) - To preserve from slaughter, from Anti-
	        Christ. Nothing can kill them!  Ill. The government will try!  But, will not 
    B.  WHERE THEY ARE SEALED - In the forehead, an outward, observable 
	sign. (Ill. Passover - Blood on the doorposts!)
	1.  Believers are sealed with an inward seal - Eph. 1:3, Ill. The soul.  (Ill. Eph. 
	    4:30; Ill. Sin)  By His seal, we are guaranteed delivery to the throne of God.
	    Ill. An inward seal now, but an outward one then.
	2.  This seal will be a constant reminder to Satan that he is defeated.  The 
	    church now, the 144,000 then.
	3.  Satan will be able to do nothing to these men, they are protected, kept and 
    	     preserved by the mighty hand of God!

III.  V.4-8                           HOW GOD PRESENTS THEM (Ill. 3 Questions)
    A.  THEY ARE PRESENTED AS A FAMILY (Who they are? #1)  (Ill. Cults who 
 	claim to be the 144,000:  Worldwide Church Of God; Jehovahís Witnesses; 
	Seventh Day Adventists.  None of these are right!)  These men are not gentiles, 
	they are not Christians.  They are not any group, they are members of a family.  
	They are Jews!  What does this tell us?
	1.  God is not through with the Jew - Rom. 9-11
	2.  These are Jews who have received Christ - Ill. 2 Witnesses, chp. 11
	3.  12,000 from each of the 12 tribes.  No living Jew, but Jesus, knows which 
	     tribe he is from.  (Ill. All records were destroyed in 70 AD)  But, God knows!
	4.  Notice that Dan is missing.  Why?  Probably Idolatry.  They were spiritual 
	     weaklings and they are not needed here? (Gen. 49:17)
    B. V.3  THEY ARE PRESENTED AS TO FUNCTION  (What they do? #2)
	1.  Servants - They are evangelists - Matt. 24:14
	2.  Ill. The zeal of a converted Jew!
    C.  ARE THEY ALIVE? #3  Probably!  We are in the last days!

Conc:  The important matter is your personal salvation.  Do you know the Lord?  I do 
not know how you feel about it, but I am encouraged that God is going to raise up an 
army of redeemed Jews who will preach the gospel of the Kingdom, and that a 
multitude will be saved from tribulation.  We serve a truly awesome God!

Sermon By Alan Carr


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