I was reading a study paper the other day and I noticed these comments below. I was curious because I understand the Great Tribulation to be the wrath of Satan beginning at the start of the 5th Seal of Revelation. So I used this as a short bible study and it seemed like a good idea to post it here in the “Christ’s Knock Watering Whole” so if any of you who aren’t old enough to have come up in the older days of the WCG might see how we were taught to view these events in God’s word.
Below is the quotation from the article;
Notice the sealing of the 144,000 occurs before God begins executing the events contained in the seventh seal, which is the seven trumpet plagues. The seventh seal is also known as the Day of the Lord (Rev.6:17) and the great tribulation.
It is clear that these people who have been sealed are found worthy to escape the horrors of the coming plagues that are to be poured out on the earth. And because the only ones who are clearly promised protection from this hour of trouble are those of the Philadelphia church noted in Revelation 3:7-13, there seems to be only two possibilities to the identity of this group of 144,000: They are either part of the Philadelphia group of God’s elect who are sealed against his wrath because of their faithfulness to him and his ways, or they are the elect of God who have heeded the warnings given to the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Because they have repented of their wrong attitudes and behaviors, they are found worthy to escape God’s wrath.
Notice that He refers to the Day of the Lord as the “Great Tribulation” here is the scripture that he used to show that:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
It is a “Great Day” but it is referring to God’s Wrath. God’s people were never to suffer God’s wrath;
1Th_5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
The term “Great Tribulation” has been used to describe “Jacob’s Trouble” it is a time of great persecution on the people of God. It is a time of the greatest suffering and trouble that has ever come upon the world nor ever will again;
Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
Notice in Rev 12 it shows the beginning of this time of trouble;
Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Surely this is referring to the time beginning at the start of the 5th Seal. The church is taken to a place of safety during the wrath of Satan on the church not during the wrath of God on the earth. The Philadelphians were promised safety from the wrath of Satan. The sealing of the 144,000 of Rev 7 comes at the beginning of the 7th Seal.
Also it is never because of their worthiness that they are protected;
Luk 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
It is never about how worthy we are but rather our attitude of watching and praying. Those who are counted worthy are those whose minds are focused on what is coming, those who have a relationship with the Father and are praying fervently for escape for themselves and their brethren. It is our attitudes that God is watching for. Are we awake and watching as good servants should be or have we gone to sleep and begun to slide back into the world in our thinking.
Those who are part of the “FirstFruits” of God’s harvest are already sealed of God. The 144,000 of Rev 7 are different from the 144,000 of Rev 14.
2Co_1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Each of us whom God has called and chosen to be part of His first fruits has already received God’s Holy Spirit at Baptism and by that have been “sealed already”.
For all of the reasons above I do not think that the 144,000 of Rev 7 is referring to the church per se. Rather I see this as a physical protection being offered to some of Physical Israel to protect them from God’s wrath much like we see happening in Ezekiel;
Eze 9:4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Eze 9:5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
Eze 9:6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
Here you see God protecting certain ones of Physical Israel from being harmed by His angels. To me this is exactly what we are seeing in Rev. 7 God is protecting certain ones from 12 of the tribes of Israel. Perhaps in order to insure that He will have a representative sampling of people of these tribes of Israel living over into the Millennium.
Any way just my thoughts on this subject seemed like it would be good food for thought going into the Sabbath.