The Significance of the First Interlude
Beginning at Revelation 7:1, between the Jesus' sixth and seventh seal, the first interlude
introduces the 144,000 bond servants of God. Note that the seventh seal introduces the trumpet judgments; thus, in this first interlude
(Rev 7:1-17), the apostle John is providing background information just prior to the trumpets.
In the first three verses of this interlude (Rev 7:1-3), there are several significant
observations that should be made:
1. The four angels standing at the four corners of the earth are not in heaven and each carry out harmful earthly
events when signaled by their trumpet blowing partner in heaven.
2. An angel with the seal of the living God commands the four angels at the four corners of the earth, and by
implication the four angels in heaven with trumpets, to wait until the bond servants are "sealed on their forehead." The bond servants
are on earth, and the trumpet judgments commence only after these particular bond servants are sealed the names of Jesus and Yahweh
written on their foreheads (Rev 14:1).
This sealing appears to be very different from the Holy Spirit's sealing of a new genuine Believer
(2 Cor 1:21-22; Eph 1:13-14). The "seal of God" protected
the bond servants from the woe of the fifth trumpet (Rev 9:4) – the plague of stinging locusts
from the bottomless pit that tormented people with pain for five months.
The time it took to seal the 144,000 may have been the reason for the thirty minutes of silence in heaven when the
seventh seal was broken (Rev 8:1-2).
As a bond servant himself on earth (Rev 1:1), John learns that the sealed bond servants
number 144,000 from every tribe "of the sons of Israel." (Rev 7:4).
As exemplified by Paul, Timothy, James, Peter and Jude (Phil 1:1;
James 1:1; 2 Pet 1:1;
Jude 1:1), a bond servant is one who is wholly devoted and dedicated to serve God. They serve
without any wages and can be seen as "slaves to Christ" (Eph 5:5-8).
The 144,000 are described as virgin Jewish men who "follow Jesus wherever He goes"
Subsequent to this first interlude, after the seventh trumpet and before the first bowl, the apostle John sees Jesus Christ with
the 144,000 sealed bond servants "who had been purchased from the earth" (Rev 14:3-4), which
indicates that they were dead and in heaven as (presumably clothed) spirit beings.
They were at Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev 14:1).
They were privileged to sing a new song before God, the twenty four elders and the four living creatures that no
other saint could learn (Rev 14:3).
They were blameless and incapable of telling a lie (Rev 14:5), which
implies a reference to what they may have been like while on earth as mortal human beings.
Thus, the trumpet judgments did not begin until the 144,000 bond servants were sealed, and by the seventh trumpet, they were no
longer on earth.