PROGRESSIVE PARALLELISM: We're interpreting the book of Revelation from the standpoint that it tells the same story of Christ's final victory from seven different perspectives. We actually finished the first perspective a few days ago at the end of chapter three. That first perspective didn't offer many details, but it concluded in 3:21 with Christ victoriously sitting down with His Father on the throne.
The second perspective began in chapter four with the open door into heaven. This section gives more insight than the first, starting in God's throne room with Him handing out the sealed scroll containing His will to bring judgment and save His people. Yesterday we saw that judgment begin to be carried out, culminating with the kings of earth begging for the mountains to fall in on them rather than face God's wrath.
Chapter seven reminds us that those who've been sealed in Christ have nothing to fear from this judgment. Like most of the details in Revelation, the specific number of 144,000 doesn't mean that literally only 144,000 people will be saved, but rather is a number symbolic of the full number of God's people throughout history.
This second perspective ends once again with the Lamb at the center of the throne (v17) and God wiping away every tear from His people's eyes (v18).
YOU ARE SEALED THREE WAYS: Chapter 7 begins with four angels holding back the winds carrying God's judgment until all of His people have been sealed. Commentator William Hendriksen shows how you have experienced this sealing:
The Christian is sealed in this threefold sense. The Father has sealed him, for the believer enjoys the Father’s protection throughout life. The Son has sealed him, for He had bought and redeemed the believer with His own precious blood. He owns us. The Spirit had sealed him (Eph. 1:13), for He certifies that we are sons of God (Rom. 8:15).
GOD LOVES DIVERSITY: There are so many forces at work in our country right now to racially separate people, both from the right and from the left. Revelation shows that although there are distinct differences in people, there is really only one human race, and at those who've been sealed in the lamb will be perfectly united with one purpose: praising God forever (v9-12).
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and strength be to our God for ever and ever! (v12)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will fully unite you with Himself and His people through His Church.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: