An interlude between the Seals series of judgments and the beginning of the Trumpets series. Seal No. 6 actually ends the series, since the unrolling of the 7th scroll is simply the revealing of the Trumpet series. Seal No. 6 corresponds with Trumpet No. 7 and Bowl No. 7, the return of Yeshua with his angels to judge humanity and set up His Millennial kingdom. So though Chapter 7 follows Chapter 6, it is not sequential chronologically; this chapter tells the story of the elect throughout all time, those whom God has transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son. The Ekklesia, the called out ones, the church of both Old Testament and New are in view here, and a most amazing tale is told.
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds [four is the number of earthly completeness, i.e., the four compass directions, and of discipline and scourging, 40 day fast, 40 years in the wilderness, 400 years in Egypt] of the earth, so that no wind [though it can mean the ‘Spirit of God’, wind in this instance represents God’s judgment, see Jer 4:11-13: “A scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of My people… now I will also pronounce judgments against them”] would blow on the earth [the stable elements of society] or on the sea [wave-tossed humanity] or on any tree [the righteous, Psalm 1].
2, 3 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun [Yeshua is the morning star, Rev 22:16], having the seal of the living God [every one who belongs to Him has his seal, Eph 4:30]; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea [with the wind, but they were commanded initially to hold it back], saying, “ Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads [as each believes, he is sealed, Eph 1:13].”
4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand [12 x 12,000, a symbolic number; the number of the sealed is limited only by the number that believe; they are seen again in Rev 14:1-5] sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel [because every believer is grafted into the root of Israel; Yeshua has become our Israel, the vine, the true seed of promise, Gal 3:16]:
The following list of Jacob’s (Israel’s) sons are out of birth order and omit two, Dan and Ephraim, likely because of idolatry and disbelief (Deut 29:18-21; 1 Kings 12:25). Why would that be? An amazing discovery was made by my friend ICA at midnightwatcher – if we replace the names in this list with portions of prophetic statements made at their births, mostly by the mothers, a glorious message of salvation appears; follow this link for a full explanation. I have placed in the brackets following each son of Israel the descriptive, prophetic promise and the reference where it can be found. After this section we will put it all together.
5 from the tribe of Judah [NOW WILL I PRAISE THE LORD, Gen 29:35], twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben [THE LORD HATH LOOKED UPON MY AFFLICTION, Gen 29:32] twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad [HOW FORTUNATE!, Gen 30:11] twelve thousand,
6 from the tribe of Asher [HAPPY AM I, Gen 30:13] twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali [WITH GREAT WRESTLINGS HAVE I WRESTLED… AND I HAVE PREVAILED, Gen 30:8] twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh [FOR GOD HATH MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL, Gen 41:51] twelve thousand,
7 from the tribe of Simeon [BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD THAT I WAS HATED, HE HATH THEREFORE GIVEN ME THIS SON, Gen 29:33] twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi [NOW THIS TIME WILL MY HUSBAND BE JOINED UNTO ME, Gen 29:34] twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar [GOD HAS GIVEN ME MY WAGES, Gen 30:18] twelve thousand,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun [GOD HAS ENDOWED ME WITH A GOOD GIFT; NOW MY HUSBAND WILL DWELL WITH ME, Gen 30:20] twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph [THE LORD SHALL ADD TO ME, Gen 30:24] twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin [THOU SHALT HAVE THIS SON, Gen 35:17-18], twelve thousand were sealed.
Now lets string all of the statements together in the order they appear in Revelation, different than their order in Genesis and different than their birth order:
“Now will I praise the LORD, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction, How fortunate!, Happy am I, With great wrestlings have I wrestled and I have prevailed, For God hath made me forget all my toil, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated he hath therefore given me this son, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, God has given me my wages, God has endowed me with a good gift; my husband will dwell with me, The LORD shall add to me, thou shalt have this son.”
ICA writes “Benjamin literally means “Son of My right hand” so another reading of the last portion could be “The LORD shall add to me the Son of [His] right hand.” The way that the 12 tribes are listed in Revelation 7 describes the Bride of Christ and the complete story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ marrying His bride after delivering her from her affliction. This is fulfillment of the prophecy regarding Israel in Hosea 2:14,16,19: “Therefore I am now going to allure her (Israel) … “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband‘; you will no longer call me ‘my master… [and] I will betroth you to me forever.“
10 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count [showing that it is not just a literal 144,000 who are saved], from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb [Yeshua, visible God], clothed in white robes [the righteousness of God through faith in Yeshua Ha Moshiach], and palm branches were in their hands [to praise Yeshua; Palm Sunday was a foreshadow of this day];
11 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,“ Salvation to our God who sits on the throne [YHWH the invisible Father], and to the Lamb [Yeshua the visible Son].”
12, 13 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders [there are 24 per Rev 19:4] and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “ Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
14 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” [a rhetorical question]
15 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation [the tribulation/great tribulation/great distress has lasted from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD until now; pre-Trib rapture adherents who hold to the sequential chronology of Revelation have a timing problem because the Trumpets and the Bowls haven’t happened yet but yet we have an uncountable number coming out of the “great tribulation”], and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
16 For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple [here we have evidence that those who die don’t experience “soul sleep”; they are in God’s presence, awaiting the next phase of His kingdom, the re-taking of Earth]; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle [we are the temple of God, 1 Cor 6:19, 20; we are in Him, He is in us] over them.
17, 18 They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne [the Lamb, Yeshua, is in “the center of the throne; He is God] will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God [the Lamb, Yeshua] will wipe every tear from their eyes [there suffering is ended forever].”