About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 7
just seen the sixth seal open and now you’d expect to see the seventh
seal open, but you don’t. That
has been delayed to chapter 8. What
happens in this chapter is that we step back from the sequence of events
that take place on earth and have the contents of this chapter interjected to give us certain
understanding of other related things.
verse 1 John sees four angels standing at the four corners of the earth
holding back the winds. Some
might ask, “How can John see four angels at four corners of the earth
when the earth is a ball shape”? John
could have easily been moving around.
Nowhere in the text does it say John was always standing still.
view these four corners as a figure of speech to mean the four points of
the compass, north south east and west.
That would be how I view it at the moment. We use many figures of
speech that aren’t scientifically accurate to make a point.
For example, we say that the sun rises and sets.
In reality the sun stays in the same place.
It neither rises nor sets. It is the movement of the earth that
causes day time and evening. Besides, John had no concept of the earth being
round, so what was spoken to him had to be spoken in words and concepts
that he would have understood, and in this case, the would have meant a
All of the above being said, let me suggest the
following. If you hold a globe
of the world in your hands, and, if you pretend to see angels at the
extreme ends of north, south, east, and west, on the globe' you'll see all
four angels that appear to be at the four corners of the earth.
The question thus arises, Did John see a globe shaped earth?
Did he now believe that the earth wasn't really flat?
Of course, I don't believe we have the answer to these questions.
should be noted that this angel controls the winds of the earth.
This tells us that angels are in control of our weather, and I
believe, in all things pertaining to this planet.
When the Lord wants something to take placed on earth, like an
earthquake, he'll tell the angel in charge of earthquakes to cause the
earth to shake.
verse 2 we see yet another angel. This
angel tells the four angels not to harm the land or the sea because they
had the power to do so. Before
these four angels caused harm to come on the earth God’s people had to
receive the seal of God on their foreheads.
John says that there were 144,000 of these sealed people.
help the Lord when it comes to matters on earth.
Here we see angels involved in the environment.
Again, this should tell us that so-called Mother Nature isn't in
charge of things. Angels are
in charge by implementing the will of God.
angel who came from the east had a seal of God placed on his body.
The seal was in some way a signet, stating he belonged to God.
He would then give God’s people the same seal before these angels
were let lose to harm the earth.
14:1 tells us that this seal had the name of God written on it.
That being said, as we will see when we come to Revelation 14, not
all believe that the 144,000 in Revelation 14 are the 144,000 we see here in chapter 7
people who were sealed were composed of 12,000
you look at this list you will notice that there are certain discrepancies
from lists that appear in the Old Testament.
The tribes of Dan and Ephraim are not mentioned in this list.
tribes of Levi and Joseph take their place. The reason for this
might well be seen in Deuteronomy 29:18 to 21. There, the text
states that any person, family, or tribe, that introduces idolatry into
suggest that the anti-Christ will come from the tribe of Dan
because Dan introduced idolatry into Israel. See Leviticus 24:10 to
16. See also Judges 18:2, 30, and 31, and
31, and, 1 Kings 11:26 and 12:28, and, Hosea 4:17.
any lists of the 12 tribes, there isn’t a consistent listing.
The twelve tribes are at least listed in twenty different ways in
the Old Testament. These
variations obviously have their significance.
one point the Jehovah Witnesses believed they were the 144,000.
A problem arose when there ended up being more than 144,000 Jehovah
Witnesses. At this point they
redefined their thinking and said that only the elite of their group were
in the 144,000.
people regard these people as converted Gentiles.
I don't see it that way. The
text clearly states that they are Jews.
There is no need to twist things around here.
speaks of “all
view this section of Revelation as taking place during the tribulation
while others view it as taking place after the tribulation.
verse 9 John saw a great multitude of people from every nation on earth,
and from every race of people, standing before the throne.
There’s not much controversy over these people.
These people are the redeemed men and women.
You also should note that even in Heaven these people have
different ethnic backgrounds, or at least they are recognized as coming
from various ethnicites pior to their arrivl in Heavan. If you
are white on earth, it appears that you'll be white in Heaven. If
you're black on earth, it appears you'll be black in Heaven. We
won’t all be the same. We’ll
all have our own specific appearance and personalities. To
be specific, these people are not just Jews, they include Gentiles.
Some people view this crowd of people
as those who had been raptured from the age of the church prior to
the tribulation. On the other
hand, some feel these people are the martyred saints of the tribulation as
we will see later. I believe
thing that distinguished this huge crowd that was so great that no one could
count them from the 144,000 is that the great multitude was in Heaven and
the 144,000 was on earth.
Note that the multitude has palm branches in their
hands. Does this mean there
are trees in Heaven? Is Heaven
a spiritual place where there are no material things like trees?
I believe Heaven is some kind of spiritual place, but, it clearly
has things that can be seen, like trees, like a throne, like an altar,
and, like many other things. These
things may consist of a different material than what we're used to on
earth, but they are present in Heaven in some form.
My opinion is that all that we see on earth is an earthly
expression of what is already in heaven; thus the reason for palm
again the palm branches held by those
9 through 11 sounds very much to me like the worship service we saw in
chapter 5. It might well be
the same event.
crowd cried out, “salvation belongs to our God.”
This is another proof that this great crowd of people are redeemed people, not
angels, because angels aren’t redeemed.
Mankind is redeemed. Besides,
the next verse speaks of the angels standing around the throne as a
how the angels worshipped in verse 11.
They fell down on their faces before God.
This is true worship. In
humble fear and reverence worshippers can do nothing else but fall on
their face in the presence of God.
verse 12 the angels worshipped by proclaiming some great things about God.
This too is worship. This
is what many of us should learn in our time of worship today.
Worship is not speaking about us.
It's not asking for anything from God.
It's proclaiming His greatness.
verse 13 John was asked who these were who wore clothes in white.
John didn't know who they were.
I find it interesting that the elder asked John who
these people are. I find it
even more interesting how John responded.
John deflected the question back to the elder when he said,
"you know". John
clearly didn't know who these people were, and, maybe, just maybe, he was
a bit embarrassed about his lack of knowledge and thus the reason for this
14 tells us exactly who the great crowd of people are.
They are the redeemed that came out of the Great Tribulation and
have made their robes white with the blood of the Lamb.
These people were martyrs. So,
even though in the most terrible time of God’s wrath, a great multitude
was saved. This is why I said
earlier that the great multitude of people weren't those who were raptured
prior to the tribulation. This
tells me that there will be many Jews and Gentiles won to Jesus during the
tribulation. I believe it will
be the greatest revival ever known.
might ask how these people washed themselves in the blood of the Lamb.
Anyone who hands his life over to Jesus and accepts God's provision
of the shedding of Jesus' blood has been washed in the blood of the Lamb.
That being said, these people shed their own blood because of their
association with Jesus. In one
sense of the word, they exchanged their blood for Jesus' blood and thus
became white and pure.
is a controversy among Prophetic Futurists whether Gentiles can be, or
actually will be, saved during the tribulation period.
Verse 14 is linked with verse 9 where we see the crowd of people
from all nations and tribes tells me that Gentiles will be saved during
the tribulation period, and probably because of the preaching of these
144,000 Jewish preachers. If
this were not the case, the large crowd would only be designated as
statement tells us something about this whole chapter.
It tells us that indeed we have stepped back from the scenes of
Revelation. You might say that
we are between scenes.
verse 15 we see these people serving God both day and night.
Note that there is a day or night in Heaven, but once again, this
means their serving is continuous. The
point to be made in this verse is that in Heaven, we will be working; we
will be serving God in some way shape or form.
What this looks like is uncertain to me, but it is clear that we
will be serving God.
The use of the word "tent" in verse 15 is
an allusion back to the Old Testament.
The tent expresses the idea of a covering and protection of those
in the tent.
verses 16 and 17 we see the struggles of the earthly life gone.
Jesus will be the Shepherd for these martyrs.
The sun won’t scorch them. Tears
will be wiped away from their eyes. They
will be led by springs of living water.
are a few different views about the tears being wiped from the eyes of the
redeemed. My opinion at the
moment is that we will not remember anything that would cause tears.
If my sons don't make it to the next life with me but end up in the
Lake of Fire, that would bring countless tears to my eyes.
How could I live without tears in the next life knowing my sons are
burning in the Lake
have suggested that we will think like God at this point. So, even though
we may see loved ones in the
In verse 17 we see the Lamb in the centre of the
throne. We've seen God in the
centre of the throne in previous chapters and now we see Jesus there.
We know that Jesus, at this present moment, sits at the right hand
of God in a place of universal authority.
Also note in verse 17 that Jesus will lead the
redeemed by springs of water. This
might well be in reference to the new earth that we see at the end of the
book of Revelation.