Revelation Chapter 7

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Revelation Chapter 7 

7:1 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.

7:2 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,

7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

7:4 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.

7:5 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.

7:6 Of the tribe of Aser [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses [were] sealed twelve thousand.

7:7 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.

7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe

 

 

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of Benjamin [were] sealed twelve thousand.

7:9 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;

7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

7:11 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,

7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

7:14 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.

7:15 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.

7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

7:17 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.

T he investigative judgment, currently in progress in the Most Holy Place in the Sanctuary in heaven, climaxes with the sealing of all who are living on the earth. Everybody on earth is sealed with the seal of God or with the mark of the beast. In Revelation 7 we see represented the sealing of God’s loyal subjects with His seal illustrated by the seventh-day Sabbath. The importance of being shown this sealing is on the character transformation that God is able to bring about in the lives of all who are willing to submit to His character transforming process. The number of those sealed

 

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is not the focus. The number is symbolic of the perfection of the work of God. The number may also be literal. One thing for sure is that all who are willing to submit to and believe in and obey God will be sealed. Nobody need be excluded from the character transformation that God is undertaking at this time.

I believe that we are the last generation to live on the earth before Jesus comes. Those who will be alive to see Jesus come in the clouds of heaven are in training at this present time. God has been modulating world affairs while these last generation followers of Christ become fitted to reveal the goodness of God; when, as in the time of Job, Satan throws everything he can think of at them. We as a church are slow learners as generation after generation go to their grave without giving God the glory of a full and perfect demonstration of His character on earth that will be seen in order to allow Jesus to come again and claim them as His own. We are "too busy" to "look and be healed" and "keep looking" at Jesus. Many are being deceived by a false gospel that teaches no need for perfection of character. Using the symbols of the sanctuary service and the sanctuary of the wilderness, the popular gospel teaches that a person confesses their sins to Jesus (symbolized in the sanctuary service by sinner bringing the lamb and slaying it in the court) and then is magically changed in character in an instant "at the last trump" at the second coming of Jesus! The experience of daily dying to self and by beholding Jesus being changed into His character-likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18) in the Holy Place ministration of Jesus is omitted from being an integral part necessary to salvation. The experience of the Most Holy Place of maturity of character-likeness to Jesus is omitted!

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3.

The purpose of the four angels in verse one that are shown holding the four winds of earth is given in verse 3: "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." The angels

 

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of God are holding the four winds until God’s believers have matured the character-likeness of Jesus in their experience. The earth (non-water) is symbolic of less inhabited places. The sea (water) represents the nations and masses of people (Rev. 17:15). The tree is representative of a national leader, as very visible. Nebuchadnezzar was symbolized by a tree in Daniel 4:22. The seal of God is the completed work of the Holy Spirit in writing the law of God in our hearts. When the law of God (which is the transcript of His character) is perfectly written in our hearts, we will have fully become like Jesus in character. Then God can seal us in our foreheads. This is what the universe is waiting to see happen before Jesus can return and claim the great multitude of faithful believers from ages past as well as these mature believers as His own! God’s people are sealed with the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 1:13-14 it is written:

"In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

To learn to recognize and distinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit from the voice of Satan is one of the skills believers need to develop at this time. Co-operating with God and the Holy Spirit in character transformation is the great work for this time. Sharing our experience with others is one of the greatest ways of co-operating with God in our own character perfection! Listen to what God tells us from His Spirit:

"What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world, are receiving the worldly mold, and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth,—these are receiving the heavenly mold, and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth, and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity." {CET 191.1}

 

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"The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character."—(7BC 970, 1895). {LDE 221.1}

"What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of his people? It is a mark which angels, not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption. The intelligent mind has seen the sign of the cross of Calvary in the Lord’s adopted sons and daughters. The sin of the transgression of the law of God is taken away. They have on the wedding garment, and are obedient and faithful to all God’s commands." {GH, June 11, 1902 par. 4}

"This is the message given by God to be sounded forth in the loud cry of the third angel. The sign or seal of God is the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, and the Lord’s memorial of his work of creation. ‘The Lord spake unto Moses saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Lord that doth sanctify you.’ Here the Sabbath is clearly defined as a sign between God and his people." {PH086 6.1}

"Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved—just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already."—(4BC 1161, 1902). {LDE 219.4}

"The seal of the living God is placed upon those who conscientiously keep the Sabbath of the Lord."—(7BC 980, 1897).

In verses four to eight, we see 144,000 people sealed—12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. The twelve tribes of Israel are twelve different character or disposition types of people from all the world which were seen in the 12 children of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel to indicate a change in character.

"We read in James: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the

 

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trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." This is a wonderful position. And it is our privilege to occupy this position." {GCB, April 4, 1901 par. 2}

God is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him—no matter what your natural disposition is—no matter to which spiritual tribe of Israel you belong to by nature. However this change in character requires our work of co-operation. Without our work of co-operation, the transformation of character is not possible. Notice that one of the children of Israel, Dan, is not found in the list of names in Revelation 7:5–8 who were named in Genesis 49. Joseph receives the birthright (twice the inheritance) through Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim is called "Joseph" (Numbers 1:32; Psalms 78:67; Ezekiel 37:16,19; Zechariah 10:6,7). The reason for changing the name of Ephraim to Joseph appears to be related to Hosea 4:17 "Ephraim [is] joined to idols: let him alone." Manasseh is mentioned, who takes the place of Dan. Dan was characterized as a snake that bites the horse heels so that the rider falls backward (Genesis 49:17). Dan also became joined to idols (Judges 18). Cooperation with the work of the Holy Spirit is required on our part. Blood relationship and church fellowship will not change our characters without our individual work of co-operation. May we put our wills and effort on the side of God to overcome backbiting criticism and compromise with idolaters even at the expense of not being popular!

Jacob, in the great crisis of his life, turned aside to pray. He was filled with one overmastering purpose—to seek for transformation of character. But while he was pleading with God, an enemy, as he supposed, placed a hand upon him, and all night wrestled for his life. But the purpose of his soul was not changed by peril of life itself. When his strength was nearly spent the Angel put forth His divine power, and at His touch Jacob knew Him with whom he had been contending. Wounded and helpless, he fell upon the Saviour’s breast, pleading for a blessing. He would not be turned aside nor cease his intercession, and Christ granted the petition of this helpless, penitent soul, according to His promise, "Let him take hold of

 

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My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me. Isaiah 27:5. Jacob pleaded with determined spirit, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26. This spirit of persistence was inspired by Him who wrestled with the patriarch. It was He who gave him the victory, and He changed his name from Jacob to Israel, saying, "As a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." Genesis 32:28. That for which Jacob had vainly wrestled in his own strength was won through self-surrender and steadfast faith. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 {MB 144.1}

Who are the great multitude of verse 9? They are the redeemed from all ages that are resurrected to meet Jesus in the air at His second coming. These are they who in times past have been faithful to God despite trials, oppositions and hardships. This great multitude may include possibly millions of martyrs from the last generation of earth. Any last generation martyrs will only have been dead a short time until they are resurrected in the special resurrection to see Jesus come in power and great glory. (See Daniel 12:2, Matthew 26:64, Revelation 1:7) May we follow the example of Jesus.

"The grain of wheat that preserves its own life can produce no fruit. It abides alone. Christ could, if He chose, save Himself from death. But should He do this, He must abide alone. He could bring no sons and daughters to God. Only by yielding up His life could He impart life to humanity. Only by falling into the ground to die could He become the seed of that vast harvest,—the great multitude that out of every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, are redeemed to God." {DA 623.4}

God tells us by His messenger that all who die in the faith of the third angel’s message will be resurrected in time to see Him come the second time. "Graves are opened, and "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth . . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Dan. 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law." {FLB 182.4}