In the great time of unexampled trouble which is to fall upon the earth after the translation of the saints, there shall be a vast company of repentant Israelites sealed for preservation, and a multitude of the Gentiles, moved to repentance toward Christ, shall find salvation through His shed blood, but at the cost of martyrdom (v. 14. See Revelation 6:9-11).
1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
2 And 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 given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Revelation 7 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:2 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:2-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:4 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:5-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:8 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:9-10 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:11-12 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:13-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:15-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 7:1-10 – The Multitude before the Throne
Before times of unusual trial God prepares for the safety of His people. See Genesis 7:1; 19:16; Exodus 12:13; Ezekiel 9:3-5; Matthew 24:15-16. What a majestic conception this is and how comforting the thought that the winds are controlled by angels, and that the storms which sweep earth and heaven must obey the mandate of eternal love! God’s people are not always saved from trial, but they are kept safe in it. We are sealed when the divine likeness is stamped on our characters, Ephesians 1:13. Those that have that likeness also enjoy the earnest of heaven in their hearts, II Corinthians 1:21-22.
The definiteness of the number sealed indicates the perfectness and greatness of this first fruit sheaf of souls. If the first sheaf be so full and heavy, what will not the harvest be! See Revelation 14:4. Beyond human count in number; representing every country under heaven; spotless in character; victorious in their conflict with evil; ascribing all glory to the Lamb as the result of His travail of soul. The tribe of Dan is omitted but perhaps reappears in Revelation 21:12. Does this mean that some will be saved as by firebrands plucked from it by the grace of God? —Through the Bible Day by Day
Revelation 7:9 – A station on the feet in front of the throne in heaven is the effect of being often on the knees before the throne on earth. (Moody)
Revelation 7:11-17 – The Joyous Service of the White-robed Throng
No nation has a monopoly of saints. No tribe is unrepresented. No language is so rude that its children may not learn the speech of heaven. The theology of heaven attributes salvation to God as its source through Jesus as its medium. Palm branches symbolize victory and the white robes, transfiguring purity. “His raiment was white and glistering” Luke 9:29. Thus it was spoken of the transfigured Christ. Notice that seven-fold doxology! The visions of the saved shall awaken new joy in the angelic hosts, but how much more in the heart of Christ!
When we stand face to face with an inexplicable mystery, how comforting it is to be able to say in perfect faith, Thou knowest! Tribulation, whether it stands for our private afflictions or for some great crisis of martyrdom, is left behind forever. It should never be forgotten, however, that we are not saved by our sufferings but by His. The blessedness of heaven consists in the unveiled presence of God, in unbroken service, and in safety because God will spread His tabernacle over us. This exquisite description of the future life consists largely of negatives, because the positive defies human speech. No scorching trial, no fear, no want, no finality, because the Lamb will conduct our eternal progress deeper and deeper into heaven. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Revelation 7:14 – Who are they that I see triumphing in the heavenly host? They that lived in ceiled houses? They that walked the earth with crowns upon their heads? They that knew no sorrow? No. “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”; they that cried from under the altar (Revelation 6:10), “How long, O Lord?“—these are they that stand highest in the kingdom of God. Heaven is just before you. And many of you that seem to have a long and weary path of suffering will soon be done with your period of trial, and will rise to honor and glory in Christ Jesus. (Beecher)
Revelation 7:17—The Lamb shall lead them unto living fountains of waters.
We do not live until we have been born again. The moment of regeneration is the first moment of life. All the years before are as though they had never been. But from the moment we receive the life of the eternal God into our being, we begin an endless progression.
The entrance of that life makes us lambs in the flock of the Good Shepherd.—We no longer resist, or fight, or boast in things of which we should be ashamed. We become pure, sweet, gentle, lowly, and submissive. We are willing to lay down our lives for others. We follow the way of the cross without murmur or complaint. Every time we eat of that bread and drink of the cup we witness to the world our desire to absorb more and more of the lamb-like nature of the Son of God. Hence, it is said, the Lamb shall lead, shall shepherd, shall tend us as his flock.
The life which God has implanted yearns for satisfaction.—As a parched flock desires the crystal streams that purl over the pebbles, so the flock of God in this life and the next cry out for God, for the living God. Nothing will satisfy God’s lambs and sheep but God Himself. And this is satisfied in Jesus. In Him the eternal God comes near to us; we follow Him without fear.
And in that life there is eternal progression.—Jesus leads us from one fountain to another, from one well to the next; always deeper into the heart of heaven, always further towards the very center of all things, which is God. We shall always be satisfied; but our capacity will constantly enlarge, and it will become necessary to give us fuller manifestations, according to his own promise (John 17:26). —Our Daily Homily