As we head into chapter 7, you might want to check out what a royal “seal” is like (as seen in chapter 6 — the breaking of 6 of the 7 seals on the Scroll). Go here if you’re interested or unfamiliar with ancient seals.
Chapter 7 is the answer to all of the questions and exclamation points that chapter 6 leaves people with (and particularly the last verse of chapter 6 – “Who can stand?”). After seeing the beauty of Throne and Jesus as the Worthy Leader, suddenly things get intense — horsemen riding out to release destruction and all . . . It’s easy to wonder, “What about US??”
Before the four horsemen of chapter 6 can begin to wreak havoc on the earth and the peoples of the earth, something extremely significant happens. In Verse 3, there’s an angel with with the seal of God who is on assignment to make sure that EVERY follower of Christ is sealed, and therefore PROTECTED from the wraths that are coming on humanity. There will be supernatural protection on all those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus and have resisted the Anti-Christ and refused to bow down to him and his evil world system! You see, a royal seal was used on documents (like the Scroll) for mainly two reasons: 1. To indicate who this document belonged to and 2. To insure that it was protected from being tampered with until it was delivered into the correct place.
First, John specifically numbers the Jews from every tribe who are sealed for the Lord (the 144,000). As Romans 1:16 states, salvation is “first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” and “salvation is from the Jews”, Jesus said in John 4:22 — and Jesus Himself is a Jew!
Next, there is a Great Multitude that John sees, wearing white robes. Don’t be confused as some have, thinking, “Does this say that only 144,000 will be saved?” These are clearly two seperate groups of people, if John can “number” the Jews and count them each out by tribe, yet this other group is so many that “no one could count”, and also represents EVERY nation, tribe, tongue and language (verse 9)! This is (most of) you and me reading this, and every other person who receives salvation who is not of Jewish decent. And, what a GLORIOUS picture it is, as so many people, from so many different backgrounds and cultures, so diverse, are all singing ONE song —
the song of Salvation!!!
Thank You, oh Lamb of God for the Your glorious salvation to us who believe!!!
(verse 11) Next, the angels burst into song as well! They can’t contain their worship of the wisdom, glory, power and strength of the God who saved this Great Multitude. Do you know WHY?
Read I Peter 1:10-12! It speaks how even the angels cannot comprehend this salvation that you and I get to FREELY receive! Funny how we always think of angels as something greater than us, but really they SERVE us and they are in awe of us — because we bear the very IMAGE of God (they don’t!). And, God in Christ is able to take this fallen race of image-bearers and restore them (“salvation”) into their true nature as the ones who truly reflect the glory of God, whom these angels can serve and adore . . . but, they do not have the capacity to freely and voluntarily give Him love and receive love back from Him! Did you know that? They were not created in the nature of the One who IS Love, WE ARE. We are the only created being with the very nature of God, which is able to have deep, intimate communion with Him! The angels LONG to experience the glory and privelege that we so easily take for granted in loving and being loved by God!
As the chapter closes out, one of the Elders and John look awestruck upon the End Time generation, those that come through the Great Tribulation. They come “out of” it, which indicates that have been IN it. They stand in white, purified by the testing of the Last Days. In Matthew 24:9-13, Jesus speaks of this Great Tribulation. For us, it will be a time of testing, not because are subject to the wrath of God, but because we will be greatly persecuted by the Anti-Christ regime, and also because “the love of many will grow cold” — in other words, many believers will be offended at God for what is happening on the earth, because they do not have understanding of Him or what He is doing. But, “he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
This sends a clear message, I believe:
1. We must KNOW AND UNDERSTAND what God is doing in the end. Our study of Revelation is essential to that.
2. We must stay in the place of worship before the Throne, gazing upon His beauty and declaring His goodness. This is this Truth from which the judgments come. To lose that perspective leaves us in the camp of those whose love “grows cold” when we see events unfolding that seem to condradict a God of love. We must know the extent of His love and jealousy! They are the motivation behind all that happens!
See verses 14-17: What is it that these white-robed ones do? They minister to the Lord, day and night! Let us be those who worship Him night and day, what stay in His presence (“in His temple”). Because it is those ones who He will “Spread His tent over” — the Divine Supernatural protection!