-There is now an interlude of time, it appears from the text, in between the sixth and seventh seals being opened as we get to chapter seven. Four angels are sent to the four corners of the earth to hold back the wind (Revelation 7:1). Then another angel ascends from the rising of the sun with the seal of the Living God. He calls out to the four angels not to “harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads (Revelation 7:2-3).” The number of the sealed was heard as being 144,000 from every tribe of the sons of Israel (Revelation 7:4-8). It is interesting to note here that the tribe of Dan is not listed in the distribution of the sealed, but rather one of Joseph’s sons, Manasseh, is listed instead. Also, Judah is listed at the forefront and the concubine tribes of Gad, Asher, and Naphtali are promoted in order of listing. This, along with some alternative interpretive views, have made for some interesting understandings of this group of God’s sealed people.
-After this, John sees a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes made clean by the blood of the Lamb and had palm branches in their hands crying out salvation praise unto the Lord and worshiping Him along with all the angels, the 24 elders, and the four living creatures. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might unto God for evermore were the specifics of their praise and adoration. One of the elders approaches John and verifies that these clothed in white robes are the ones coming out of the tribulation as enduring overcomers (conquerors) by the power of Christ in them (Revelation 7:9-14). These are before the Lord’s throne serving Him night and day in His Temple, and God shelters them with His presence. They shall not hunger nor will they thirst anymore, and the sun will not strike them or any scorching heart. “The Lamb in the center of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:15-17).”
-*Application* The Lord’s Day may come at any time, and the tribulation of the saints is very real and literal. We should be prepared for this intense spiritual struggle and determine in our spirit that we will be part of those numerous believers that were able to come out of the tribulation with the Lamb’s blood covering us and cleansing us if that is required of us. Some scholars and theologians would say that the saints will be raptured out and these are converts to Christ from the witness of the 144,000 during the tribulation, and that may be true. But, if we are indeed asked by the Lord to endure this period as His church, we should be ready, willing, and able, knowing that the reward on the other side is that our Lamb will shepherd us to springs of living water and wipe away every sad tear from our eyes.
Verse to Memorize: Revelation 7:17