05 January 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 7

Welcome back to our study of Revelation!

Just before our Christmas break, we saw Jesus, the Lamb, open six seals on the scroll. Chapter 7 is an interlude before the Lamb opens the seventh seal. In this chapter, we will see how God will protect His people from the coming judgments.

John sees four angels standing at the four corners of the earth and holding back the winds. Another angel carrying the seal of God comes from the east and instructs the four angels to withhold God’s judgment until God’s people are sealed.

The seal the angel carried was a mark of ownership and protection. The seal on the 144,000 indicated that God is their master and has authority over them.

The 144,000 might be:

  • A literal group of 144,000 believing Jews.
  • A symbolic group representing the Church (all believers).
  • All of God’s people (Jews and Gentiles from all nations).

Whoever the 144,000 people are, we know they are complete in the Lord. God spared the faithful but punished the rebellious.

Next John sees a great multitude of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. They are crying out, saying that salvation belongs to God and the Lamb. The multitude is wearing white robes and holding palm branches. Palm branches signified victory – the multitude victoriously made it through the Great Tribulation because God had sealed and protected them.

In response, the angels, the elders, and the four living creatures fell down and joined in the multitude’s worship.

What is the Great Tribulation? It could be the time between Jesus’ ascension and His second coming (right now!). Or it could be an intense time of suffering and persecution just before Jesus’ second coming. In any case, remember that God never fails to bring His people through the tribulation.

Things to Think About
  • Where do you find your security? God’s people are secure in the Lamb’s salvation.
  • God spares His people from the wrath of His condemnation. Believers will not face His final judgment of condemnation.
  • Believers are sealed, saved, and secure in God.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17 NIV