After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
"Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God"
This seems to indicate that the sealing of God's servants confers some sort of protection from what is to come.
This vision is given after the sixth seal is opened and before the seventh seal is mentioned
Following the seventh seal, the vision of the seven angels with trumpets is given
The first of these angels releases fire to burn up the Earth and it's trees. The second angel causes a third of the sea to be destroyed and the third angel causes a third of the fresh waters of the Earth to become bitter. The fourth angel has power to obstruct the elements in the sky causing darkness
It would seem likely that the four angels who had power to harm the land and the sea are the first four angels with trumpets (althougth there are some notable differneces)
This would mean that the 144000 would have to be sealed before the first four trumpet Judgments are given.
This is often used as an arguement for sequential seals trumpets and bowls.
The vision of the 144000 is, however, a separate vision although it is given in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal for a reason.
The visions in the interludes must be concurrent with the seals, trumpets and bowls
If the sealing of the 144000 precedes the trumpets then it could precede the seals aswell particularly if the seals and the trumpets are simultaneous
The 144000 Jews are presumably protected from the seals aswell
The first seal conincides with the revelation of the Antichrist. This will probably not happen until he breaks the covenant with the Jews in the middle of Daniel's last week.
The second seal brings war and the third seal brings famine
The fourth seal bring death. One quater of the Earth's population dies. It is hard to believe that the Great Tribulation has not started by this point
When the fifth seal is opened, the Martyrs cry out
The sixth seal brings signs in the sky; the sun turns black, the moon red, stars fall from the sky and the earth shakes
The events of the first six seals result in considerable damage to the Earth and Mankind itself
It would therefore seem logical that the sealing of the 144000 would precede the seals aswell as the trumpets
The vision of the Great Multitude that appears in Heaven is also given in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal.
The Great Multitude had been through the Great Tribulation. By this point then, we are at the End of the Great Tribulation.
The visions of the Gentiles trampling the Holy City for 42 months and the 2 witnesses prophesying for 1260 days is given in Revelation chapter 11 in the interlude between the sixth trumpet and the seventh trumpet
The vision of the Woman being pursued by a beast and fleeing to the wilderness where she will be taken care of for 1260 days and time times and half a time is given in Revelations Chapter 12
The vision of a beast being given power to pursecute the saints for 42 months and conquer them is given in Revelation Chapter 13
While these visions are given sequentialy, few commentators would argue that these time periods are not only equal in length but they are the same period of time occuring concurrently
This is a good example of visions in revelation occurring simultaneously, concurrently and being coincident
Just looking at the groups that have this 42 month or 1260 day time period attached we can see that the three main groups of people will be represented during the great tribulation - namely the Gentiles (nations or pagans), the Saints (Christians) and the Woman (Israel) which includes the people from the 12 tribes of Israel
What's more we can see that the Woman (Israel) is taken to place where she can be taken care of for 1260 days which is the duration of the Great tribulation.
The woman being Israel no doubt includes the 144000 sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel.
As the Woman is taken care of for the entire duration of the Great Tribulation, it is probable that she was sealed before the Great Tribulation started at the mid point of Daniels 70th week.
The 144000 sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel will be protected during the Great Tribulation.
They will not be harmed when God pours out his Wrath after the rapture when the Church has been removed from the Earth.
The Nations will be judged according to how they treated God's people
The Nations will be separated into the Sheep and the Goats
The 144000 Jews and the 'Sheep' Nations will go on into the Millennium to repopulate the Earth in fulfillment of the promises God has made to the Jews
Christians will be in Heaven during the Millennium.
In Eternity, the Jews and the Christians will be combined into one New Jerusalem where God will dwell with his people.
The Nations whos names are in the Lambs book of Life will be outside the New Jerusalem but will escape the Lake of Fire
Those whose names are not in the Book of Life will spend Eternity in the Lake of Fire