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Silence in Heaven

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At the end of the seventh seal, seven angels prepare to sound their trumpets, unleashing judgment on the “inhabitants of the earth” – Revelation 8:1-6.  The saints have been “ sealed ,” washed “ in the blood of the Lamb ,” and brought safely through the “ great tribulation .” The full complement of “ witnesses ” has been assembled, and the time has arrived for judgment to be rendered against the “ inhabitants of the earth ” that persecuted the martyrs. Their plea for “ vengeance ” is about to be answered - [ Silence - Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash ].

Redeemed of the Earth

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In Revelation, the people of God are comprised of the men purchased from every nation by the blood of Jesus .  The book of Revelation  applies several terms and symbols to the church that is under assault. The men who are redeemed from the earth form a company that transcends all national, social, and cultural boundaries. And “ tribulation ” is not an aberration to be avoided at all costs. Instead, persevering through trials is integral to what it means to follow the “ Lamb wherever he goes .” - [ Reaping - Photo by Gozha Net on Unsplash ].

Standing Before the Lamb

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One of the twenty-four “elders” interprets the vision of the innumerable saints that stand before the Lamb and the throne - Revelation 7:13-17.  We have reached the point where the two questions have been answered - How long must the martyrs wait for vindication, and “ who is able to stand ” before the “ wrath of the Lamb ” and he “ who sits on the throne .” Having been sealed, numbered, and assembled, John now sees all the saints “ standing ” before Jesus and his Father in victorious worship - [ Photo by LĂ©onard Cotte on Unsplash ].

Innumerable Saints

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John next sees an innumerable multitude of men from every nation standing before the Lamb and the Throne – Revelation 7:9-12.  The saints are “ sealed ” before the unleashing of the “ four winds of the earth ,” then they are assembled for the sojourn to the Promised Land and John “ hears ” their “ number ,” 144,000 “ males ” from the “ twelve tribes of Israel .” Next, he “ sees ” the assembly of the saints as it arrives at its destination, a multitude so vast that “ no man could number them .” -[ Wheat ripened - Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash ].

Numbering the Sealed

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The 144,000 males from the tribes of Israel are numbered and assembled for the journey to the city of New Jerusalem – Revelation 7:4-8.  The “ servants of God ” have been “ sealed ” against the onslaught of the “ four winds of the earth ,” but now they must be “ numbered ” to ensure that no member of the covenant community is lost in the coming “ tribulation .” The full complement of “ witnesses ” must be assembled to witness the “ day of the wrath of the Lamb ” - [ Assembly - Photo by Ambitious Creative Co. - Rick Barrett on Unsplash ].