Rev 7:2 And I saw another angel ascend from the sunrising, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a great voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Rev 7:3 saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we shall have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.
Remember the four angels restraining wind? They are “given” to “hurt” the Earth and sea.
Given Strongs Greek #1325 didōmi A prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an alternate in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly or by implication, literally or figuratively; greatly modified by the connection): – adventure, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give, grant, hinder, make, minister, number, offer, have power, put, receive, set, shew, smite (+ with the hand), strike (+ with the palm of the hand), suffer, take, utter, yield.
Give, have power, commit, bestow; are all English words we can use for this Greek one. The Greek word for hurt we have seen before. Rev 6:6 “…A measure of wheat for a shilling, and three measures of barley for a shilling; and the oil and the wine hurt thou not…” This is adikeo, to do unjustly as it were. Once restrained, look out, they will be hurting the Earth and the sea. You see they are “restrained” until the sealing of 144000 people is completed.
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel:
Rev 7:5 Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand: Of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand; Of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand;
Rev 7:6 Of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand; Of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand; Of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand;
Rev 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand; Of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand; Of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand;
Rev 7:8 Of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand; Of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand; Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
There are many opinions about these people. But one thing is for certain, somehow there has been found 12000 people that are “certified from every tribe” There is more on these “sealies” but it is later on down the scriptural road. I will weigh into the opinion pool on these tribesmen. They may actually be “rotas” of priests for the New Jerusalem which is perhaps a massive Temple so big that it is a city.
Rev 7:9 After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands;
Rev 7:10 and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Rev 7:11 And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
Rev 7:12 saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
This is another passage that has a lot of revue. Pretrib rapturists suggest this is the raptured church. The problem with the statement is found, 1Cor 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1Thes 4:16, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;… Now folks.. the last trump is the last trump. Yes the language speaks of those coming out of the great tribulation. But in the fifth seal there were the souls of those martyred up and they were given WHITE ROBES. These people may well be those who were the reason for the celebration.
So let’s revisit these verses: Rev 6:9 And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10 and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled their course.
“…should fulfill their course” Do you know how many people over the three thousand years period or so that have died for the faith? It would form an endless sea of people.
Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.
Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat:
Rev 7:17 for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.
This is more evidence of a mass of martyrs. The pain and the suffrage these souls went through and this is the reward.
This is what Jesus said about persecution and suffering for His sake or for righteousness sake; Mat 5:10 Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.
It doesn’t make the pain any less though. Suffering in any form takes its toll but this is … healing. These may very well be all martyrs or those who were persecuted, suggesting there is a class here of those in this position. One more thing, you see the image of the white robed carrying PALM BRANCHES. “…arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; …” There is but one feast that has this plant before the Living God in any form of a temple. Feast of Tabernacles. They will be waving those branches and singing, “Salvation be unto Him who sits on the Throne and unto the LAMB.” Now the Priests did this in the feast in the Temple days. They circuited the altar with the branches in hand and they sang psalms 113 – 118 also known as the Hallel. This is new…. The only thing approaching this verse is the plea to “save now Oh God”. Now these are also priests of a sort. 7:15 …”and they serve Him night and day IN HIS TEMPLE…” now certainly we are the TEMPLE of the Living God not made by human hands, and we are framing into a building each one of us fitly framed each joint supplying (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19, 2 Cor 5:1, Eph 2:21, Eph 4:16) so, yes, that’s one way to look at it but it is also peculiar of the City to come the Bride of Christ the New Jerusalem, the LAMB dwells there it is called Jerusalem so it will be in Israel in the land given to them in perpetuum. It could also be “both and”. Nevertheless these are priests in Tabernacles.