Rev. 7:1 "And after these things I saw four angels standing upon 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."
The first phrase says, and after THESE THINGS. What things? The things we were just told about, the SIGNS in the sun, the moon, the stars, and the great shaking of the earth. Then we see four angels HOLDING BACK the four winds so that they should not blow as yet. WHY? Because the WRATH of God is just about to be poured out and since the church is not appointed to God WRATH something must take place first. Keep reading and you will see what takes place right before the SEVENTH seal is opened.
Rev. 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."
In this verse we see ANOTHER angel crying out loud, shouting if you will, wait, wait I have the seal of the living God. In other words, just in the nick of time perhaps seconds before the WRATH of God is poured out upon the world God's people Israel are SEALED with God's protection. But NOT ALL of God's people the Jews will be sealed as you will see as you continue reading.
Rev. 7:3 "Saying hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, TILL we have SEALED the servants of God in there foreheads.
Now there has been some misinterpretations from this verse of scripture due to the false teaching of the PRE-tribulation point of view, which says that the servants of God is referring to the Christians who are being sealed. However the servants of God is speaking of the Jews, God's chosen people. Continue reading verses 4-8 and you will clearly see this TRUTH. There are several places in the book of Revelation where we see TWO groups of God's people; the one group keeps the WORD of God and the other group has the testimony of Jesus. And in this chapter as well you will see TWO groups of God's people where a REMNANT of Israel is SEALED and the Christians are granted ETERNAL LIFE.
Rev. 7:4 " And I heard the number of them which were SEALED an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL."
Rev. 7:5 "Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev. 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.
Rev. 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.
Rev 7:8 "Of the tribe of Zabbulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand."
So twelve thousand from EACH of the twelve tribes of ISRAEL were SEALED as the servants of God for a total number of 144,000 sealed and protected from the coming WRATH of God that is about to BLOW upon the earth and the sea and the trees. Often times the "sea" represents the wicked, and the trees sometimes represent God's people. And the trees of the fields will clap their hands, in Isaiah 55:12. Certainly the fig tree represents Israel and perhaps the fir tree and other trees speak of good righteous people who repent at the second coming of Jesus. Or it may be the literal seas and oceans and trees. Just a thought.
Rev. 7:9 "After this I beheld, and lo, a GREAT MULTITUDE, which no man could number, of ALL the nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood BEFORE the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with WHITE robes, and palms in their hands."
Rev. 7:10 "And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sits upon the throne, AND unto the Lamb."
Now who are this GREAT MULTITUDE of people going to be, which no man could number, that was comprised of people from every nation and tongue, who will be standing before the throne of God Almighty and before the Lamb of God also. Who is this great multitude of people all clothed in white robes, where the angel cries out WAIT WAIT hold back the WRATH of God? Keep reading and you will see.
Rev. 7:11 "And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beast, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God."
Rev. 7:12 "Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever, Amen."
Again the "angels" may be angels only, as in, angelic beings, or they may also include the saints of God, his "messenger", because the word angels means messengers. Any way they ALL worshiped God, the Father, because they all fell on their faces before the THRONE, and we have previously learned that it is Almighty God, who sits upon the throne, and the Lamb, or Jesus his Son is at his right hand. Also I want you to notice that the THRONE of God is no longer said to be set IN HEAVEN. The tabernacle or dwelling place of almighty God is come down to the heavens of the earth. Remember that 1 Thessalonians says that we will be caught up in the CLOUDS and taken to meet Jesus in the AIR. Now the city of God does not actually come all the way down to rest on the surface of the earth until the NEW heavens and the NEW earth is created by God at the END of the thousand year reign of Jesus.
Rev. 7:13 "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, WHAT are these which are arrayed in white robes? And WHERE came they? (or where did they come from?)"
Rev. 7:14 "And I said unto him, Sir you know, and he said unto me, THESE are they which came OUT of great tribulation, and washed their robes, (kept sin out of their lives) and have made them white in the blood of the lamb."
So then, this great multitude which no man could number from ever nationality and tongue are the CHRISTIANS, who went THROUGH the period of great tribulation and who were raptured IMMEDIATELY AFTER the time of great tribulation just as the WRATH of God is about to be poured out upon the earth and all the ungodly and disobedient to the gospel. In other words, the angel was crying out WAIT WAIT do not pour out the wrath of God UNTIL the ELECT of God are SAFE.
Now again the 144,000 servants of God are sealed and protected from the wrath of God. I am sort of on the fence on this one or undecided as yet as to whether the 144,000 sealed Jews are the total number of Jews called the REMNANT of Israel who will go into the 1000 year reign of Jesus in the MORTAL bodies. Some verses lead me to believe that they will take part in the rapture of the church,, as in, being caught up into the AIR in the MORTAL bodies to be protected and saved alive. But yet other verses lead me to believe that there has to be some REMNANT of God's chosen people Israel on the surface of the earth to flee through the mountain pass made by the great earthquake when the feet of Jesus touch the mountain top. So it MAY be that the 144,000 is not the entire remnant of Israel.
Anyway we know for sure that the rapture of the church, those who have the testimony of Jesus who have kept sin out of their lives, and the SEALING or the marking and protecting of the 144,000 children of Israel, the servants of God both take place between the sixth and the seventh seals. In other words, all of chapter seven takes place between the sixth and the seventh. Please keep this in mind as we read later about the seven trumpets and the seven vials, because you will again see a space or short span of time between the sixth and the seven trumpet as well as the sixth and the seven vial. Again the rapture occurs during this brief space of time, which gives us a clue that the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven vials are all one and the same events.
Let me explain what I mean by this a little. Picture a map with a small circle around some very tiny print. Then over to the side we see an enlarged or MAGNIFIED area of this small circle. Then in this magnified area we see yet another circle that is enlarged even more so that we can see even more detail. This is the way the book of Revelation is written. First we are told some things, then later on we are told some other things, which are in reality a more defined description of what we were already told plus some new information as well. And yet again a third time we are told even more information about the same events.
You will see clearly that BOTH the SEVENTH trumpet and teh SEVENTH vial are the WRATH of God. And we know that the WRATH of God is being announce in the SIXTH seal as having arrived or is just about ready to be poured out. But in the opening of the SEVENTH seal all we see is SILENCE in heaven four the space of 1/2 and hour. More on this we we get there, but to ME I am seeing the SEVENTH SEAL as also being the WRATH of God and chapter 7 verses 9-17 being the RAPTURE of the church just before the SEVENTH seal is opening in chapter 8. Moving on to verse 15.
Rev. 7:15 "Therefore are they before the THRONE of God, and serve him day and night IN his temple; and he that sits upon the throne shall dwell among them."
I want you to notice that God, the Father, the one that sits upon the throne shall DWELL AMONG us here ON the earth. Compare this verse with Revelation 5:10 and Revelation 21:3,4. Also notice that this verse begins with the phrase THEREFORE they are before the THRONE. The word therefore mean because of this very reason. What very reason are the saints before the throne of God? Having COME OUT of GREAT tribulation is the very reason why these saints are giving the RIGHT to the tree of life and ENTER INTO the city of God to be before his THRONE.
Now I have had some try and argue that the words, having come out of great tribulation means that they were delivered FROM going through great tribulation BEFORE the great tribulation begins. But this does not fit the meaning of the CONTEXT when the next word is THEREFORE. You see dear child of God when ever you see the word therefore then find out the reason of why it is there for. Then remember the bigger context which may be the previous chapter and or the next chapter. Sometimes the context spans many chapters. The previous chapter here in the last verse teaches that the WRATH is just about to be poured out, then the first verse of chapter 7 we see wait, wait and then something happens before the SEVENTH seal is opened.
Rev 7:16 "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat."
Rev 7:17 "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
There will be no more hunger or thirsting in the kingdom of God UPON the earth for the Lamb, Jesus, the Son of God will provide for all our needs and God HIMSELF will wipe away all our tears.
Let's jump ahead to Revelation charter 21 and read the 3rd and 4th verses.
Rev. 21:3,4 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is WITH MEN, and he (Almighty God) with dwell WITH THEM, and they shall be his people, and God HIMSELF shall be with THEM, and be their God.
4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and their shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall their be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Now I know that this is different than what we have all been taught about going to heaven when we die and living with God for eternity UP IN heaven by church tradition and doctrines of men. But rather the Bible itself teaches that there will be a new earth and we shall dwell UPON this new earth and Almighty God HIMSELF along with his Son, Jesus will come down out of heaven and dwell WITH man instead of the way around that we were all taught by church doctrine about going UP INTO heaven and live with God for all eternity IN HEAVEN.
This brings us to chapter 8.