Context? 6:18 Who can stand? 1 Thess. 5:9.
Still part of the events of the sixth seal.
v. 1—Then what happened?
What is the “this” that happened after?
What did John see?
Who were the four angels?
What angels were they?
What were they doing?
Where were they standing?
What does the “four corners of the earth” represent? Job 1:19; Isa. 11:12; Ezek. 7:2; Acts 10:11; Acts 11:5; Rev. 20:8
Where have we seen that term before?
What were they doing while they stood there?
What were they holding back?
What does the four winds represent? Jer. 49:36; Ezek. 37:9; Dan. 7:2; 8:8; 11:4; Matt. 24:31; Mk. 13:27 – Jer. 49:35-38
How does one hold the wind back?
What does the wind represent in Scripture? Gen. 8:1; 41:27; Ex. 10:13, 19; 14:21; 15:10; Num. 11:31; Ps. 18:10; 104:3-4; 107:25; 135:7; 147:18; Jn. 3:8; Acts 2:2
Where was the wind kept from blowing? Hos. 13:15-16
Notice that the events in nature are not without God’s hand and intervention. God did not just wind it up and let it go. He is in it and his angels control the weather.
Also, representation does not mean “not there.” Nor does spiritual mean “not there.” In both cases though it is not exactly what we expect when we look at nature, it is actually larger than nature because it is nature and then some. Not to sound Greek but it is the reality behind what we see. But it is not independent of what we see, it is that and then some.
v. 2—What did he see next?
Where was this angel?
Where was he ascending from? Blessing often comes from the east Gen. 2:8; Eze. 43:1-5; Mal. 4:1-2
How do you go up from the sun? Isa 41:1-4, 25; 46:11; Ezek. 43:1-3
What did he have with him? Luke 1:78; Mal. 4:2
What is the seal of God? A symbol of authority and power.
What was he saying?
How was he saying it?
Who was he talking to?
What had they been given power to do?
Is this the same set of angels we saw in verse 1?
What affect did holding back the wind have on the earth?
v. 3—What was he saying to the four angels?
What was the condition?
What were they to wait for before they harmed the earth?
Who were they waiting to seal? Doulas- slave.
Where were they going seal them? Eph. 1:13; 4:30
What would this look like? 2 Cor. 1:21; 2 Tim. 2:19
On the forehead? Ex. 28:36-28; Deut. 6:6-8
This appears to be reflective of Eze. 9:1-7
The early church thought that the mark was the sign of the put on the forehead of folks who were baptized. The word for “mark” in Ez. 9 was one letter in Hebrew and it was shaped like an X or like a + and was a symbol for the way people would sign their name, or make their mark, in a business deal. As you notice it also looked very much like a Cross and the early church thought it was a sign of the mark that every Christian took on himself when he was baptized. Thus was a fulfillment of both Ez. 9 and Revelation 7.
No matter what is going on in the earth, God is in control and will care for his people (2 Pet. 2:9; Isa. 12:2)
Those who walk with God are those who will walk with God. The seal is the gift of the Holy Spirit, given to those who God has chosen to live and walk with him. God has changed their hearts and thus they should live like their hearts have been changed (Ez. 36:26-27; 2 Tim. 2:19).
v. 4-8—What did John hear?
How do you hear a number?
Who was sealed? 1,000 means a whole lot, many, mucho, bunches (Deut 1:11; 7:9; Psa 50:10; 68:17; 84:10; 90:4) Mic. 5:1-15
The 144,000 represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Two tribes are not listed; Dan and Ephraim. And two tribes that aren’t supposed to receive rewards are listed; Levi and Joseph. I don’t know why.
Throughout the N.T. the Church is described as the true Israel of God (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:7,29; 6:15-16; Philippians 3:3; James 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9).
Who are these folks? Rev. 14:1ff the redeemed of the Lord. We’ve already seen in Revelation that not all Jews are Jews (2:9; 3:9), so the only ones left are either all the saved Jews or those who are true Jews (Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 3:7,29; 6:15-16; Phil 3:3; James 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9), or both.
So put it all together you have a vast host, or army of the redeemed, created to fill the earth and subdue it, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, poured out to serve him and to give him allegiance and to worship him forever.
Even though the center of worshipping the true God is going to be destroyed, God will not abandon his people to destruction. He will save them and not just a few. He will save the world (John 2:16).
v. 9—What did John do after hearing the 144,000 (v. 4)? 1:10-13; 5:5-6; 6:1-8, hears and sees
What did he see when he turned?
What does his turning and his hearing in the previous verse have to do with one another?
How many people did he see?
Who does this mean the 144,000 were?
Which nations did these folks come from? Who were all these people?
What were all these people doing?
Standing is something only people who have been cleansed of their sin are privileged to do in the throne room. Which is why Isaiah fell on his face and why everyone else falls on their face before God, unless they are cleansed (Is. 6; Heb. 10:14ff).
What were they wearing?
Have we seen white robes anywhere before? 19:8
What did they have in their hands?
Where in the Bible do palm branches appear? Lev. 23:39-43; Neh. 8:15; John 12:13—Mt. 21:8, 19 Leaves with no fruit
v. 10—what were they doing besides standing and holding palm branches?
What kind of volume were they using?
What were they saying?
What does salvation mean?
Where does salvation come from?
Who does it belong to? And who?
Who benefits from it?
v. 11—Who was standing around the throne?
What were they doing?
Do you think physical positioning has anything to do with worship? Or is it all about, or only about, attitude?
v. 12—What were they saying when they were worshipping?
What does Amen! Mean?
What belongs to God?
Whose God is he?
For how long do all these things belong to God?
v. 13—Who talked to John next?
What did he say?
Why should John know who all these people are?
v. 14—What did John say in response?
How did John address the fellow? Gk. “My Lord”
What did the elder say in response?
Who are these folks?
What great tribulation? Matt. 24:21; Mark 13:19—Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Lk. 21:32
What did they wash their robes in?
How did washing the cloths in blood make them white? Heb. 9:22, 14
What does this mean about persecution for the Christians of the first century? What about subsequent Christians in history? Should Christians today expect to not suffer for their faith?
v. 15—What does therefore mean?
Where are they?
What are they doing there?
How long or often do they worship? Psa 134:1
What is the one on the throne doing for them?
The one sitting on the throne shall spread a tent (dwell) on among them. Deut 32:10-11; Lev. 23:33-43; 25:4; 2 Sam. 22:12; Hag. 2:4-9; Jn. 7:37-39
v. 16—How much hunger will they experience? Is. 49:10
How much thirst?
Will they get sunburned any more?
Will they overheat? Rev. 16:8-9; Isa. 4:4-5
v. 17—Why won’t they suffer anymore?
Who is the lamb?
Is it strange that the lamb will be a shepherd?
What will he do for them as their shepherd? The shepherd does not necessarily take away the problems, he simply protects his sheep in the midst of their problems.
Where will he lead them? Isa 55:1; Jer. 2:13; 17:13; Eze 47:1-9; Zech 13:1; Jn. 4:10-11; 7:38 (the feast of booths, Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35)
What will God do for them?
What tears are in need of wiping away? Isa. 25:8; 49:8-13
See Carson’s commentary on John 7:37-44, pp. 321-323