Read for This Week’s Study: Revelation 7; 2 Pet. 3:9-14; Deut. 8:11-17; Rev. 14:4-5, 12; Rev. 17:5; Rom. 3:19-24.
Memory Text: “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” (Revelation 7:14, NKJV).
The opening of the seven seals shows us that every person who claims to believe in Christ will receive blessings for faithfulness or curses for unfaithfulness. The first four seals describe God’s disciplinary means to rouse His people from their spiritual lethargy and make them victorious. Yet, God’s people also suffer injustice and oppression in a world hostile to the gospel. At the opening of the sixth seal, God is ready to deal with those who harmed His people.
Chapter 7 is an interlude inserted parenthetically between the sixth and seventh seals. The sixth seal brings us to the second coming of Christ. As the wicked face judgment, Revelation 7 answers their question about who will stand on the day of Christ’s coming: those who have been sealed, the 144,000. The other characteristics of the 144,000 are given in Revelation 14:1-5.
There is also an interlude inserted between the sixth and seventh trumpets (Rev. 10:1-11:14). This interlude, which commences with the Second Great Awakening and the birth of the Advent Movement, coincides with the same time period as the opening scenes of chapter 7 and focuses on the experience and task of God’s end-time people.