Revelation of John 7The Sealing of the Servants of God SUMMARY OF REVELATION 7: The Four Winds Held. The Sealing of the One Hundred and Forty-four Thousand. The Great Multitude with the Palms of Victory. They with White Robes About the Throne. CHAPTER VII.After these things. After the opening of the sixth seal.I saw four angels. The vision that appears before his eyes is that of four angels at the four points of the compass, holding four winds to prevent them from rushing in destruction upon the earth. These certainly represent four destructive powers which are held back for a time from the land, the sea, and the vegetation of the earth. I saw another angel . . . having the seal of the living God. The picture is that of an angel having the seal of the living God. The object of this seal is indicated in Re 7:3. The seal was a mark of ownership. The seal of God on the forehead would mark those sealed at God's. The seal mark on the forehead would be visible to everyone; hence the seal in the forehead has been understood to be the public confession and profession of Christ. This angel would thus symbolize a great and successful movement to evangelize the race. Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees. The four winds are forbidden to do their work of destruction till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Until the sealing has been accomplished; or in other words, until the preaching of the gospel has wrought a certain result. And I heard the number of them who were sealed. The number first named is 144,000, twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. These numbers are not to be taken literally, but only signify that a great number, not a countless, but a part of each tribe of Israel, accepted the gospel. Of the tribes Ephraim appears under the name of Joseph (Re 7:8), and Dan is entirely omitted, a fact possibly due to the early falling away of Dan into idolatry (1Ki 12:26-30). The number twelve is preserved by counting Levi (Re 7:7). For another appearance of the 144,000, see Re 14:1. After this I beheld. First he saw the vast company of those of the blood of Abraham who had been saved, and then he sees another company, not numbered, because they were so great that no man could number them.A great multitude . . . of all nations, and kindreds. The first multitude represented the Jews saved through Christ (Re 7:4-8); the second, the countless multitude, represented the saved of all nations, the Gentile saints.Stood before the throne, and before the Lamb. In the vision they seem to stand before the throne and before the Lamb, to whom they ascribe the praises of their salvation.Clothed in white robes. Victorious, triumphant.Palms in their hands. The symbol of joy. The palm branch was used at the feast of Tabernacles, the feast of thanksgiving (Le 23:40). Salvation to our God . . . and unto the Lamb. The praise of our salvation be given to God and to the Lamb. And all the angels . . . and the elders and the four beasts. In Re 5:11-14 the elders, four living creatures, the angels about the throne, and every creature join in the praises. Here again all are named, and the angels worship and join in praising God for the blessed scene they have just beheld. What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? The questions are asked by the elder that he may teach. "These" refer to the vast multitude described in Re 7:9. Thou knowest. "I do not know, but thou dost".These are they which came out of the great tribulation. Some great period of trial of the church is meant. They have stood the trial, and been true.And have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Have made themselves spotless by trust in the blood of Christ. Therefore are they before the throne of God. They are exalted to heaven. They shall hunger no more. Their sorrows are over forever. For the Lamb . . . shall feed them and shall lead them. God and the Lamb shall bestow upon them every blessing and remove every sorrow.
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