God's People: Sealed and Saved
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Delivered By
Will Robbins
Delivered On
November 7, 2018 at 6:00 PM
Central Passage
Revelation 7
Subject
Revelation Bible Study
Description

Revelation Chapter 7 "Hear and See" God's People are sealed and saved.

N.T. Wright's Bible Study on Revelation (Questions underlined)

  1. Read Revelation 7:1-8 What are the angles at the four corners of the earth doing and why? The four angels are holding back the four winds from bringing God's destructive judgments upon the earth. Verse 3 reveals that the purpose of this pause in Revelation 7 between the 6th seal and the 7th seal are to seal up God's people to protect them from the releasing of the "winds" of God's judgment through the Trumpets.
  2. N.T. Wright points out that in Genesis 1 God created the natural order "very good" which has resulted in ceaseless praise before His throne. Why then has the authority to harm God's creation been given to the angels? Read Romans 8:18-23 While creation has not been the source of sin and the resulting evil in the world, man's fault, creation has been subjected to sin. Everything that has not been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will face judgment. Therefore, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. 
  3. The "seals" on the scroll were a kind of sticky wax whose purpose, in the ancient world and sometimes in the modern as well, was to keep important documents secure against prying eyes. You could always tell if the seal had been broken since it would be stamped with the mark of the one who had sealed it up  How does the term seal take on a new, though somewhat related significance here in vv.2-4? We are sealed by the Spirit and this seal cannot be removed it will stick (Romans 8:38-9).) It is a sign of ownership & protection. 1Peter 2:9-10. The believers had the inward seal (not outward physical seal) of the Holy Spirit by nature of being born again of the Spirit and having God’s Spirit within them. (Eph. 1:13-14; 5:30; 2Cor.1:22 Sealed by the Holy Spirit, not physically but by being born again- John 3:3)
  4. JOHN HEARS Who makes up the 144,000 that John hears will be sealed (vv.4-8)? God’s people, Israel. But who is Israel? Gal. 6:16, Rom. 2:29;  Who are God’s chosen people? Rom 4:11 All those and only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, John 14:6, Acts 4:11-12(rejected by Israel); Rom. 11:11-14 (v.14 some are the full remnant that God will save through faith in Jesus Christ); God’s chosen people, a holy nation 1Pt 2:9; Believers are seals, because they are the true Israel Rom. 8:38-39; Those who receive the promise of Salvation in the Messiah are saved not those of the flesh/ birth as Jews Rom. 9:1-8; The early church were those who were spiritual Jews that put faith in Christ, but now all those who turn to Christ (Gentiles) would be a part of God’s Israel Eph. 3:6; WE ARE ALL NOW ONE PEOPLE SEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT BY FAITH IN JESUS as MESSIAH & LORD- Gal. 3:28-29 & Col. 3:1 ***SO what about the physical Jews. What does Jesus say .  . . Revelation 2:8-11 (Jewish unbelievers against Christ are of Satan as all unbelievers are.); John 8:37-44 (Jewish unbelievers are of Stan); Ephesians 2:11-22 (both groups- physical Jewish believers and non-Jewish believers are now 1 Israel sealed by the Holy Spirit). Comparing the lists of Israel in Genesis 49 (the original list) vs. the eschatological list reveals differences such as Joseph not being included but rather his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Also, Levi is not listed in the same way as the other 12. The 144,000 that John hears is not referring to a physical but spiritual Israel, as we see it shows that the Fullness of God's people that the Father gave to the Son has come in and none lost by the Son. If physical Israel was the point of the Revelation 7 passage then Revelation 7 list of the tribes would be the same as that in Ezekiel 48. It is not. In fact, the Revelation list of tribes has differences from Genesis 49 and Ezekiel 48. SO if the focus in Revelation 7 is not on physical Israel, but on ALL believers, both Jew and non-Jew, then how should we treat Jews? Same as all unbelievers. We should proclaim to the Jesus as Messiah and Lord, and that there is only Salvation in Him, both for the Jew and Gentile- Romans 10:5-13

  5. What benefit might the "seal" offer to those marked with it? V.15c “seal them with His presence” the Holy Spirit is present in every believer, which points again that the Multitude is the same as the 144,000 sealed. He protects them from the judgment on all that is affected by sin in the world. Believers are sealed by reason of being listed in the Book of Life. Their judgment of sins has been taken away and put into Christ’s account, which Christ paid for with His life. Thus, removing the sin debt and judgment form believers (Rom. 8:1-2). 

  6. Read Revelation 7:9-17 Who makes up the great multitude that John sees (v.9), and how does this crowd seem to differ from those described in verses 4-8? JOHN SEES They are all believers made pure by the sacrifice of the Lamb, which is why they are in white and praising the Lamb for their salvation (being sealed from the judgment of God’s judgment and thus the 2nd death). V.14 BELIEVERS will not be judged and experience God’s wrath to come not yet, BUT already are experiencing, since the Christ came and inaugurated His God’s Kingdom by forgiving believers sins and putting His Holy Spirit and thus His kingdom (His rule and reign) within believers. The not yet is the fulfillment of our prayer for God’s kingdom to come at Christ’s return. So believers are presently sealed by the Holy Spirit and will not undergo God’s coming wrath and judgment on sin, BUT presently are undergoing tribulation from the enemy. If we look back to the 4 horsemen- 3 are bringing the enemies tribulation upon all creation, but believers are crowned by Christ to bring forth His Kingdom by proclaiming the Gospel. The Gospel seen in mankind is God’s kingdom breaking forth with many victories until Christ claims the ultimate victory at His return- THIS VIEW- is called the Inaugurated Kingdom.  ****In the two groups we two messages about God’s plan for His people. The 144,000 are sealed against the windy storm of judgment that will wipe clean the earth for God to begin again, and the Multitude in white are God’s people who will suffer tribulation at the hand of the enemy but in the end, will come through victorious (for example- seen in Revelation 3:5)

  7. How does this passage help us understand how God is involved in our lives in the midst of great suffering?

  8. What is the response of the multitude to what God and the Lamb have done for them (vv.14-15)? What did he do- He sealed them from judgment, He brought them through suffering tribulation to Victory! Serve God who “shelters them with His presence.”.
  9. What does it mean that God will “shelter” those gathered around him “with His presence (v.15)? They are sealed and will not face His wrath and judgment that will come on everything and everyone not redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. This passage appears to point to the NOT YET consummation of God’s Kingdom when Christ returns. Future vision from Revelation 21
  10. At this point, John glimpses the further future, the vision of the New Jerusalem itself (Rev.21). In a wonderful role reversal, the Lamb will turn into a shepherd, assuming the royal role of John 10 “the good shepherd” and indeed the divine role of Psalm 23. This Lamb-turned shepherd guides the flock of His people to springs of living water (v.17). What does this symbolize? No temple, living water- we will have eternal life and perfect nearness to God. A temple is no longer necessary and we will be with Him- the source of life.
  11. When in your life have you experienced God as the Lamb or God as Shepherd? The Lamb graciously forgives. The Shepherd disciplines and guides to protect and bring me into His good pasture that He has prepared for His sheep. The grace of the Lamb and the guiding hand of the Shepherd both result in bringing people back from death to life, from alienation to community, and from chaos to peace.

 

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