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
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."
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.