Revelation 7:1-3 “…holding the four winds of the earth…to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea…Do not harm…”
More destruction is planned, but halted at the moment. We’re at a point between the sixth and seventh seals.
Note: The commentaries may be of little help due to the great diversity of opinions regarding Revelation’s prophetic sections. Still a good idea to read them and study, but don’t rely on the commentary to the exclusion of the text and the Spirit. Full understanding may not be the purpose of the Spirit for each individual. Trust and the relationship with Him should be the guiding factors.
4-8 “…I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel…”
One commentator suggested God is sealing a remnant of believing Jews before the Tribulation begins. These would be those who have decided to believe after the Rapture. God is still taking care of His own. The four angels are on hold until this is done. According to the commentator these sealed will go through the Tribulation unscathed. Not sure where he comes up with that, but it’s totally possible. He also mentions, as do other commentators, that the tribal divisions of the Jews are no longer known. Most refer to the removal of the nation of Israel by the Assyrians as the point when the ten tribes were destroyed. However, this is a total misconception of scripture, and I’m not sure where it comes from. All of the people from those tribes weren’t taken by the Assyrians. Some were left in the land. Yes, some of those intermarried, but some didn’t. Also, not everyone from those tribes moved to the Northern Kingdom when Israel split. Some remained in Jerusalem and Judah. As to not knowing the tribal designations, scripture tells us that when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple they encountered Anna who was of the tribe of Asher. This is several hundred years after the Assyrians removed most of the Northern Kingdom, and the tribal designations are still known at least by some.
Point of interest in the listing of the tribes is the listing of Joseph and the absence of Ephraim and Dan. Joseph was replaced by Ephraim and Manasseh at the end of Genesis so the presence of Joseph here could represent Ephraim. But no mention of Dan. Commentaries suggest Dan isn’t mentioned due to a history of idolatry or perhaps the tribe follows the Antichrist instead of standing against him. Seems odd to me. God always has His remnant. I don’t see Him removing a whole tribe completely, but we’re not given more information to go on. Definitely a mystery.
9 “After these things…”
John uses this phrase several times. Gives the idea of things happening in sequential order, at least in John’s mind. Could be him saying I saw this at some point after I saw that.
9-17 “…a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues…These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”
Obvious proof that there will be some who are saved during the Tribulation period. Quite a lot actually. Not sure about the current stage of happenings on the earth at this point. This sounds like one of John’s oh by the way moments. He does it in the gospels and perhaps here also. He mentions these after he tells of the ones sealed. Several commentaries mentioned they thought the sealed ones would be witnesses for Christ and stand against the Antichrist. Perhaps John is showing that they were indeed witnesses, and the great multitude is a result of that. A thought. At any rate, it also shows the great mercy and grace of God. Even after the Tribulation has begun, He is still allowing men to repent and come to Him. No pleasure in the death of the wicked, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.