The Sealed People of God

English
Revelation 7
Year: 
2019
Quarter: 
1
Lesson Number: 
6

Lesson 6 The Sealed People of God

(Revelation 7)

 

Copr. 2019, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

 

Introduction: When we studied the “Seven Seals” last week, did you notice that we were missing a seal? That is right, Revelation 6 ended with the sixth seal! It turns out that the seventh seal is found in Revelation 8. We study Revelation 8 next week. Revelation 6 ended with momentous signs taking place in the heavens. What is happening in the galaxy causes world leaders to realize that Jesus is coming and the “day of wrath” is beginning. Revelation 8 begins the discussion of a horrible time on earth. So what is Revelation 7 about? As we will study this week, it is about those who are saved! Note that there are important points in Revelation 7 that are difficult to understand. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!

 

  1. Sealed Against Harm

 

    1. Read Revelation 7:1-3. What is about to come on the earth? (Harm! The following chapters in Revelation discuss terrible times.)

 

      1. Who is in charge of the timing of the terrible things? (God. God’s angels are seen to be “holding back” the terrible times.)

 

      1. Why are the terrible times ahead delayed until the “seal of the living God” is placed “on the foreheads of the servants of our God?” (The seal helps us or protects us in some way. Otherwise, the delay would make no sense.)

 

        1. Do you think that those who have the seal are protected from all harm?

 

      1. Where is the seal placed? (On the forehead.)

 

        1. Why? (The seal reflects a decision to be a servant of God.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 7:4-8. Who are these 144,000? (They are servants of God who seem linked in some way to the tribes of Israel.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 7:9. Are these also sealed? (Revelation 7:3 reveals the sealing process is about to begin. Revelation 7:4 describes those sealed “from all the tribes of Israel.” Then Revelation 7:9 describes those from “every nation, tribe, people, and language.” The way this is written indicates that they are all sealed, but this is subject to debate.)

 

    1. Why would the sealing of the “tribes of Israel” be stated separately from the sealing of those of all other nations? Why are those sealed from all other nations the only ones described as “wearing white robes?” (John’s vision is of two different places. The 144,000 are on earth and the unnumbered multitude are in heaven. The language of Revelation 7:3 indicates that the 144,000 are alive just before the opening of the seventh seal! The unnumbered multitude seem to be those saved over the history of the world. Perhaps the link to the twelve tribes is not important, and the 144,000 are a subset of the unnumbered multitude.)

 

      1. Does the number 144,000 seem odd to you? (In this book of symbols, it seems symbolic.)

 

  1. The Proclamation!

 

    1. Read Revelation 7:10-12. How are all saved? (Through the power of God. It is not our own works.)

 

      1. Do you think this proclamation has something to do with their sealing?

 

      1. Read Revelation 4:11 and Revelation 5:12. What are the reasons for the previous statements of praise? (God as Creator and Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross.)

 

        1. What memorializes both of those events? (The Sabbath. God made the Sabbath holy in connection with His Creation (Genesis 2:2-3), and Jesus observed a Sabbath rest after His crucifixion. Matthew 28:1-2.)

 

        1. Does observing Sabbath have anything to do with the seal?

 

    1. Read Ezekiel 9:3-6. Ezekiel describes a kind of forehead “sealing” process. Who obtains the seal that keeps them from being destroyed? (Those who “grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done.”)

 

      1. If Ezekiel’s account helps to form our judgment, it seems that those who are sealed have a special regard for the work of God. They celebrate His Creation, His victory at the cross and they detest the rejection of God by those who do detestable things.)

 

        1. This brings to mind that this week the State of New York voted to allow abortions for unborn babies at full term! Do you grieve and lament about that? Do you recall what your child looked like the day it was born?

 

    1. Read Revelation 7:13-14. How would you put John’s response in modern language? (Why are you asking me? You know the answer to your question.)

 

      1. We assume the elders are advisors to God. Why would one of them ask such a question? (He wanted John to think about it. He wanted us to consider it.)

 

      1. What do we know about this unnumbered multitude? (They have “come out of the great tribulation” and they are saved by grace alone.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 12:17. (Read the entire chapter if you would like a better view of this.) Are we the “rest of her offspring?” (Yes!)

 

      1. Look again at Revelation 7:14. What do you think is the “great tribulation?” (It is the conflict between Jesus and Satan here on earth. Specifically, it is the “war” that Satan has been waging against Christians since Jesus returned to heaven. See Revelation 12:17. This is some evidence that the unnumbered multitude are those Christians who lived after the cross. But, the better suggestion is that the 144,000 are just one part of the larger unnumbered multitude. The difference is that only the 144,000 lived during the time before the opening of the seventh seal.)

 

  1. The Results

 

    1. Read Revelation 7:15. Where do the unnumbered multitude live? (“Before the throne of God.”)

 

      1. Read Revelation 21:1-4. Where does God live in the future? (On earth.)

 

      1. Where do we live? (On earth and in the New Jerusalem!)

 

        1. Why? (Because we are the living memorial to Jesus defeat of Satan and sin!)

 

      1. What does it mean in Revelation 7:15 that God will “spread His tent” over us? (Read Revelation 7:16. We are protected from hunger, thirst, and heat.)

 

        1. Why do you think there is so much focus on heat? (Read Revelation 16:8. It could be because in this area of the world, heat was a particular problem. It could be because one of the final plagues is the sun scorching the people.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 7:17 and re-read Revelation 21:4. What is absent in the earth made new? (Sadness and mourning!)

 

    1. Friend, do you want to be there? Do you want to live without worry and sadness? Do you want to live in the center of the world empire? Why not wash your robe in the blood of the Lamb? Why not do that by being baptized and trusting in Jesus for your salvation?

 

  1. Next week: The Seven Trumpets.