Revelation 7 is today's chapter. Whenever you study this book, you must know that there are several different interpretations available. Your particular view will determine how you interpret different sections of Revelation. With great humility (and I could be wrong--I often am), here are some of my perspectives, trying to be objective, yet faithful to my own perspective. Here goes: 1. Vss 1-3 show 4 angels in the four corners of the earth, holding back the earthquake and winds of chapter 6 until God places his "seal" on the foreheads of his children, something antithetical to the mark of the beast we've yet to examine in chapter 13. It reminds us of the blood over the doors protecting the firstborn during the final plague in Egypt. What exactly is this "seal" (like a signet ring, sealing a envelope)? No one knows. I've always wondered if it's those in whom the Spirit has been born, thus giving us "the mind of Christ." When the final judgment comes, our minds are so fixed on Jesus that the angels of heaven see it and sweep us into eternal life.
2. Vss 4-8 describe the 144,000 Jews saved in the final judgment. I believe the number "12" symbolizes in Jewish numerology "completion." This will be the number of Jews who are in heaven, the completed number, before Jesus' return. Some think it is the number of Jews left here after Jesus 2nd Coming who will then evangelize the rest of the world. Perhaps that is correct. I lean toward the first, thinking it naturally leads to....
3. Vs 9: a glimpse of heaven that shows these Jews along with people from "every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages" before the throne of God, worshiping the Lamb in heaven. All people, of all colors, of all ethnic backgrounds, will be worshiping together, including and especially Jew and Gentile. I do wish our churches now looked more like it's going to look in heaven. It will be a wondrous sight!
4. Vss 10-12: when this multitude worships God and the Lamb for the incredible, amazing gift of salvation, all the angels and living creatures in heaven fall down and start singing a seven-fold doxology to God and the Lamb: "Blessings and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and mighty be to our God forever and ever! Amen!" What a sight this must be! Can you now get a better glimpse of heaven?
5. Vss 13,14: An elder before the throne identifies the multitude as the ones who had come out of "the great tribulation." Is this an actual 7 year time period of intense persecution before Jesus returns? Or the "great tribulation" that has been known since the Ascension of Jesus on his church? Or could it be both? I think it's both...the tribulation becoming more and more intense until Jesus returns. These folks are all those faithful saints who persevered in their faith until the end. The "blood of the Lamb" made them white with new robes, what allowed them to wait patiently until God's ultimate justice on all those who persecuted his people.
6. Vss15-17: the pain of the suffering has been left behind. God supplies their every need, every day, all the time. He is their Shepherd. All their tears are dried. This is all they need as they await their perfect resurrection and the justice upon their persecutors.
The Lamb is worthy of our praise. We should do it now. We will do it forever!