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February 05, 2010

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James Fleming

Let me reiterate that no Christian will ever suffer God's wrath (although we may face the wrath of men in the form of persecution). This is a point that is clearly and repeatedly made in the letters to the seven church and elsewhere in the New Testament. Paul states it plainly, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:9). When passages in the New Testament explain that we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30), the same word, "sphragidzo," is used that is also found in Revelation 7. Revelation 7 does not mention the fact that all believers are sealed and thereby protected from God's wrath, but the rest of the New Testament does make this point.

What is a remarkable "new development," according to Revelation, is that a massive group of Jews are becoming Christians at this moment in future history. Who would have guessed that a people who have, historically, been so resistance to the Gospel would now become receptive to it in droves. Their numbers will swell to 144,000 before the trumpet judgments begin, and they, like Israel at the time of the Exodus in the Old Testament, will be protected from these plaques by "the blood of the lamb." Revelation 7 is not telling us that these are the only sealed bond-servants (see Rev. 1:1), but that they represent a remarkable new addition.

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