God uses the 144,000 to preach the saving gospel to the world during the tribulation, uses the 2 witnesses to preach the saving gospel to the world during the tribulation, uses an angel flying across the sky declaring the gospel to the world during the tribulation, uses an angel to warn people not to take the mark of the beast during the tribulation.
Notes and Outline
The 144,000 + 2 Witnesses
Rev 7 - Jews/Gentiles saved during Tribulation:
v.1-3 The four angels who have been tasked with harming the earth and sea (first four Trumpets Rev 8). Fifth angel ascends from the east horizon calling to the 4 angels to pause until they have sealed the bond-servants. They are sealed by the HS.
The sealed remnant of the Jews (v.4-8) evangelize (v.9-17) many who then believe and suffer martyrdom while others enter the millennium with their natural bodies.
So Who Are The 144,000?!
v.4-8 An angel seals the bond-servants of God on the forehead. 144,000 Jews (12k from each of the 12 tribes). This is a Jewish remnant that now presumably evangelizes other Jews and the rest of the world. We are still in the early stages of the Tribulation, prior to the half-way mark, between 6th and 7th seals.
Remember earlier we looked at Zechariah’s prophecy in Chap 13:8,9 looking ahead to this time (the tribulation—the time where 2/3 of the Jews will be killed and 1/3 come through the ‘fire’.) eventually to 12:10 (the Return). This is also the time spoken of by Ezekiel 37:14 (having already come into their land, but will continue in the millennial reign); 39:29 (the sealing is but one fulfillment of 39:25-29; Isa 32:15; Ezek 36:27; 37:14; Joel 2:28).
[premillennial, pre-tribulation view of end times]
These 144,000 appear again (Chap 14) with Jesus standing together on Mount Zion. They are identified as to whom was selected within each tribe.
v.9-17 Uncountable multitude of Gentiles get saved and taken to heaven during the 7 years, not at one time. This is God’s heart that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9).
VISION OF THE LITTLE BOOK
Rev 10 - Time’s Up, No More Delay
The seventh angel standing on the sea and on the land. John is told to get the book from that angel and to eat it. This happens approaching the midpoint and must happen prior to the 7 bowls of wrath.
Rev 11:1,2 - Times of the Gentiles
conclude in 42 months (3.5 years) - The times of the Gentiles began with the Babylonian captivity in 700 b.c. appx and concludes somewhere between the midpoint of the tribulation and the end of the tribulation. (arguments both ways)
Rev 11:3 The Two witnesses
The two witnesses (*see discussion of identity below) stand and prophesy for 1260 days (3.5 years). Fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies. Have the power to shut up the sky and to turn the water into blood and strike the earth with plague.
When they finish the beast comes up out of the abyss and kills them. Their dead bodies lie in the street where Jesus was crucified. People look at the dead bodies for 3.5 days and will not permit burial. (v.8 refers to Jeremiah 23:14 - …All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.)
People (unsaved) rejoice over them and send gifts to one another because they are dead. Then God calls them up into heaven and a great earthquake occurs; a tenth of the city falls and 7000 people are killed. the second woe. (believe the 3rd is Babylon in ch.17)
These two witnesses start early on in the tribulation and are called up to heaven right before the midpoint. Their witnessing to the Gospel is just one more example of God’s heart that none should perish (2 Pet 3:9).