Bible Study: Revelation 7 – First Fruits of Harvest

Revelation is the only book that says we are blessed to read, hear and keep the things that are written, for the time is near. Hence, let us not be like hypocrites without discerning times and seasons. Here we will look into Revelation 7 and understand what it says.

(Rev 1:3) Blessed [is] he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time [is] near.  

(Luke 12:56) “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how [is it] you do not discern this time?

Before the Scattering

(Rev 7:1-3) After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any treeThen I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

The wind here is mentioned as something that harms. In the Bible it is mentioned for scattering of the people.

(Jer 49:36) Against Elam I will bring the four winds From the four quarters of heaven, And scatter them toward all those winds; There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go. 

(Zech 2:6) ” Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the LORD; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the LORD.

The angel set the seal on the servants of God and then the people will be scattered. This is during the great tribulation.

First Fruits of Feast of Harvest

(Rev 7:4-8) And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred [and] forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel [were] sealed: of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand [were] sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand [were] sealed.

It is interesting to note that the list is a bit different from the actual 12 tribes of Israel.

Genesis 49 Revelation 7

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Zebulun
  6. Issachar
  7. Dan (replaced by Manasseh)
  8. Gad
  9. Asher
  10. Naphtali
  11. Joseph – (sons: Manasseh, Ephraim)
  12. Benjamin

  1. Judah
  2. Reuben
  3. Gad 
  4. Asher
  5. Naphtali
  6. Manasseh (replaced Dan)
  7. Simeon
  8. Levi
  9. Issachar
  10. Zebulun
  11. Joseph
  12. Benjamin

Why did God rejected the tribe of Dan and chose Manasseh Instead?

(2Thess 2:3-4) Let no one deceive you by any means; for [that Day will not come] unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 

(Gen 49:16-18) “Dan shall judge his people As one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, A viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heels So that its rider shall fall backward. I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!

It is possible the man of lawlessness could be from the tribe of Dan.

Who are these 144000 people? Can I be one of them? These questions are asked by us several times. To fully understand who these people are, we need to understand the Feasts of the Lord.

(Exod 23:14-16) ” Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in [the fruit of] your labors from the field.

(Deut 16:16) “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

Feast of Unleavened bread:

(Lev 23:5-6) ‘On the fourteenth [day] of the first month at twilight [is] the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month [is] the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.

We know we are to purge our the old leaven and we are to be truly unleavened. Christ is our Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us. This feast had been fulfilled by Christ.

(1Cor 5:7) Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

Feast of Harvest (or Weeks):

(Lev 23:15-17) ‘ And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. ‘Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. ‘You shall bring from your dwellings two wave [loaves] of two-tenths [of an ephah.] They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. [They are] the firstfruits to the LORD.

As we read in Acts, Holy Spirit was given to all people who where gathered there, who are the first fruits of the Feast of Harvest.  This feast was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.

(Acts 2:1-4) When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and [one] sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Feast of Tabernacles (or Ingathering):

(Lev 23:34,39-40) “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the Feast of Tabernacles [for] seven days to the LORD. ‘ Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD [for] seven days; on the first day [there shall be] a sabbath-[rest,] and on the eighth day a sabbath-[rest.] ‘And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 

(Deut 16:13) ” You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.

This feast is not yet and this chapter is about this particular feast. The 144000 are sealed by God for the fruits on the first day of the feast, which Christ will take for Himself and they will go wherever He goes.

(Rev 14:1,4) Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred [and] forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. … These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from [among] men, [being] firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.

The timing of the Feast is also mentioned. It will be observed when all the grains are gathered.

(Matt 13:29-30,37-43) But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn. … He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked [one.] The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

However, the feast of Tabernacles had not yet began when the 144000 where sealed as we read later about these men in chapter 9.

(Rev 9:4) They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

Out of Great Tribulation

(Rev 7:9-17) After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation [belongs] to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, [Be] to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

The event is a post great-tribulation period and happening in heaven. The 144000 are still in earth even after the great-tribulation and during the wrath of God as we read later about these men in chapter 9. As in new heavens and new earth, God will wipe away all tears for those who come out of great tribulation.

(Rev 21:4) “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”