Revelation : Chapter 7
Before you begin reading my breakdown of Revelation 7, please read the chapter in its entirety first. Here is a great website to use : BlueLetterBible
If you haven’t read my other posts on the book of Revelation you can head them here:
Revelation – Introduction
Revelation – Chapter 1
Revelation – Chapter 2
Revelation – Chapter 3
Revelation – Chapter 4
Revelation – Chapter 5
Revelation – Chapter 6
(More to Come!)
Last time we read about the first 6 seals in chapter 6. Chapter 7 continues with the events of the 6th seal, and leads us up to the 7th seal in chapter 8, which is the beginning of God’s wrath.
Chronology of the Chapters of Revelation
Chart Made by Pastor Stephen Anderson / FaithfulWordBaptistChurch
The chapter text will be red to make it easily distinguishable.
Revelation Chapter 7 (KJV)
“(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.”
In Chapter 7 we start off with the four winds being held back like the calm before the coming storm. This is occurring “after these things” (still gives us chronology), meaning after the events of the last Chapter. In Chapter 6 we discussed the first 6 seals, the 6th being the rapture. Now we are gearing up for the 7th seal to be opened in Chapter 8 which is what begins the outpouring of God’s wrath.
Let me mention that this may be one of the most controversial verses in scripture. Many believe with the advent of Heliocentricity, the Science Programs, the Space Programs etc., that these verses and consequentially Scripture as a whole is more poetic or metaphorical. I know many who have said, “just because it says ‘four corners’ does not mean the authors thought the earth was flat or had corners”. This is actually not true. The authors did believe this, as did nearly every other ancient culture. Topics like this are what cause some to shy away from taking the Bible literally, but I ask you, who can we trust: God or Man?
So what has changed? Were these people merely simple minded, trying to describe the world around them? Or had they been given divine inspiration and visions from the Almighty? (an interesting question if you believe the Bible to be the literal and infallible Word of God)
All of this has actually started me working on a new series that I will begin after I finish the Revelation series. It will be entitled: The Bible vs Scientism. It will be very controversial but I feel I must venture down this rabbit hole (I already have been for some time now). No one wants to think that modern day Science (or the religion of Scientism as I prefer to call it) would ever lie to them. I know that there are some great men of God in the scientific community, but Scientism has its ways of pulling us away from God’s Word inch by inch. Example: Science says, “the big bang created everything”, in response Christians say, “God created the big bang”, making the Christians unknowingly doubt the Word of God. Science and the big bang tell us the Sun came before the Earth. The Bible says that the Earth was created before the Sun. Are we going to let the world currently ruled by satan make us pick and choose what we want to take literally or are we going to humble ourselves and let the Bible speak for itself? Satan has been trying to get us to doubt God’s Word ever since he tempted eve to doubt God in the garden..
[Genesis 3:1 KJV] “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
The beginning of doubt: Did God say that?
My Point: If we take the Bible literally, then we must come to the conclusion that someone is lying to us and it’s either God (The Bible) or Man (Scientism). I’ll let you ponder this dilemma in the mean time.
“(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.”
Before the Lamb opens the 7th seal and God unleashes his wrath upon the earth, an angel says to wait “till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”. These are the 144,000 as we will see in the next few verses (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel). An angel ascends with the seal of God to seal the His servants. Notice it says the angel is “ascending” (going up) to seal the servants and not “descending” (going down). This helps us discern the where the 144,000 are located. I will expound upon this in the next few verses..
“(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.”
Verse 4 uses the phrase “children of Israel”. Even though most assume that this term is interchangeable with the term “Jews”, it is not. We are going to spend a good bit of time on this subject before we finish the chapter because I believe most pastors do not teach about the 144,000 correctly. Let’s take a brief look back at the history of the children of Israel..
The 12 children of Israel (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin) went down into Egypt and became a great nation after their father Israel passed away (Exodus 1:1-7). Then, a Pharaoh rose up that sought to enslave them because they were becoming a great people (Exodus 1:10-11). Then, once Pharaoh decided to finally let the nation of Israel go (Exodus 10:28-29), Moses led them out of Egypt and they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Once a generation rose up that obeyed the Lord, they inherited the promised land. For about 400 years they were ruled by the Judges, but then the children of Israel said they wanted a king so that they would be like all the nations (1 Samuel 8:19-20). The first king they had was king Saul, the second was David, and the third was Solomon, all of which reigned for 40 years each over all 12 tribes. When king Solomon died his son Rehoboam became king. During the reign of king Rehoboam the 10 of the tribes rebelled (1 Kings 12) and split into two Kingdoms: the northern kingdom of Israel (ruled over by Jeroboam) and the southern kingdom of Judah (ruled over by Rehoboam). The southern kingdom was named Judah because it was primarily made up of the tribe of Judah. There were Israelites from some of the other tribes in the southern kingdom, but it mainly consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Over the coming years both kingdoms would cycle between worshipping God and engaging in paganism (Ex. 2 Kings 16:1-4).
In 2 Kings 16 we have the first usage of the word “Jews” in scripture..
[2 Kings 16:5-6 KJV] “(5) Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome [him]. (6) At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.”
This is the first time the title “Jews” is used in scripture and yet what do we see? The northern kingdom of Israel had teamed up with the king of Syria to go to war with southern kingdom, now referred to as the Jews.
Therefore, the 144,000 should not be referred to as “Jews” because they are numbered from all 12 of the tribes of Israel, not merely the “Jews” of the southern kingdom.
SIDE NOTES ON THE 144,000
Since Revelation chapters 1-11 and 12-22 are parallel passages, we see the 144,000 again in chapter 14:1-5. There are a few things we can take away from these verses that describe the 144,000 in more detail..
[Revelation 14:1-5 KJV] “(1) And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: (3) And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. (4) These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (5) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
1) They are seen with the Lamb (Christ) on mount Sion (Zion) (verse 1).
Many pastors teach that these will be 144,000 Jews that are still on earth during the end days. If we notice where Christ is in chapter 7, He is in heaven returning with those He raptured from the earth (as we will see in the last few verses of chapter 7). In chapter 14 it says they are on mount Sion (Zion) with the Lamb. “Zion” is one of the names used for Jerusalem, the city of David, and is often used interchangeably as in Isaiah 52:1-2.. “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city.. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, [and] sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion”. In Hebrews 12:22 Zion is referred to as the “heavenly Jerusalem” and has “an innumerable company of angels”. In Revelation 21:10 John says he sees “that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” when the new heaven and new earth are being established. Thus it can be concluded that Sion (Zion) in the New Testament is in heaven. Therefore, the 144,000 are not “Jews” on earth in the end days, but instead are already dead and in heaven being numbered from the 12 tribes.
2) They are all men who “were not defiled with women; for they are virgins” (verse 4)
This is also something that most Christians aren’t taught, but the Bible makes it clear that the 144,000 are all men spanning the 12 tribes. This is interesting considering their mission. As we will see later on, they will be sent to minister unto those who are still on earth during God’s wrath (Revelation 9). This suggests that there could be some people who will get saved while the wrath of God is being poured out. This brings light back to the miss-used verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:9: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. As those who are saved by Christ we are not appointed to wrath, but those who are not saved will see the wrath of God. Another interesting correlation is that if they are ministers of God, or what we would consider to be pastors, it makes sense that they would all be male seeing as the Bible clearly states that women should not be pastors (1 Timothy 2:11-12). This can be a very controversial subject but it is what the Bible teaches.
“(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.”
Here, Just before the 7th seal is opened in the next chapter, John sees “they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”. These are the people who were raptured during the 6th seal in the last chapter, and John is now seeing them in heaven. The rapture occurred after the 6th seal was opened but before the 7th seal is opened. Verses 16-17 paint such an amazing picture for us of the promise we have been given by entering into the covenant of Jesus Christ.
Ive touched on this before, but from what we have studied so far we can clearly see that the rapture is Post Tribulation. If we have yet to see the 7th seal open and God’s wrath begin to pour out, it also means the rapture is Pre Wrath. Therefore, neither the tribulation or wrath of God last the entirety of the 7 years (Daniels 70th week).
This concludes my breakdown of Chapter 7. In Chapter 8 we will be reading about the opening of the 7th seal and the beginning of the wrath of God.
As always thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Your brother in Christ Jesus
Here is one more chart for further study. It is a more in depth layout of the chronology of events of the end times and shows how the timing of the prophecies given in the books of Daniel, Matthew, Mark, Luke and Revelation all line up. I don’t typically like charts because they tend to get very confusing and are often filled with error, however, I have been studying this one for a few years now and have found it to be Biblically sound. The chart itself is too large to post on here but you can view and save it by clicking the link below.
–> Daniels 70th Week Chart <–
Chart Made by Pastor Stephen Anderson / FaithfulWordBaptistChurch