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Revelation 7 and other Topics

Notes on Revelation 7

Miscellaneous Truths not Addressed in the Article on the Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast

 

Brief Idea: The Time of Trouble commences at the conclusion of the sealing. Spiritual Jews alone receive the Seal of God. They are God’s servants before they are sealed. Who will be Able to Stand? Those with Clean Hands and a Pure Heart who have been cleansed by Jesus.

 

Ps 24:3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. 5  He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6  This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Selah (NKJV)

 

Mal 3:2  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

 

Brief Idea: The metaphor of wind is used in a variety of  ways in scripture, often in the context of end-time prophecies. Two of the winds, trouble and heresy, contribute to the shaking.

 

Ec 11:4  He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

 

Wind as a Metaphor – For 1. Heresy, for the 2. Spirit, for 3. Tribulation, 4. for our Sins, for 5. Political Unrest and War

 

Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

Eze 37:9  Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. (Seee Joh 3:8; Ac 2:2)

 

Hos 8:2  Israel shall cry unto me, ‘My God, we know thee.’ 3  [but] Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him. . . . 5 . . . how long will it be ere they attain to innocency? . . . the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. . . 7  For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind:

 

Isa 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

 

Da 7:2  Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. (See also 8:8 and 11:4)

 

(See Luke 8:23-25  and Jonah 1:4 for stories that makes good metaphors.)

 

Who Will Stand?

 

Mt 7:25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

 

Mt 11:7  And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

 

Jas 1:6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

 

Isa 32:2  And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

 

Ps 1:4  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

 

Some Winds Will Purify

 

Lu 3:17  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

 

So 4:16  Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

 

Other Winds Will Only Punish

 

Jer 4:11  . . . A dry wind . . . toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse, 12  Even a full wind from those places . . . now also will I give sentence against them. . . .Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. 14  O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? 15  For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. 16  Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers . . . are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.

 

Da 2:35  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

 

Jer 13: 20  Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? 21  What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? . . . 23  Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. 24  Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. 25  . . . because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.

 

Jer 22:21  I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice. 22  The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.

 

Jer 51:1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; 2  And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about. . . . 5  For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel. 6  Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.

 

Eze 13:10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: 11  Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. 12  Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, “Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it?” 13  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. . . . 15  Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; 16  To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD.

 

Brief Idea: The sealing message comes “from the east” – that is, it grows and increases in strength as a rising sun. And it irritates the papacy intensely. Dan. 11:44.

 

Dan 11:44  But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 45  And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. 1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

 

Brief Idea: Ellen White saw the same kind of symbols that John and Ezekiel saw. (EW 92 and Rev 11:2-3; 12:1-17; EW 38.1-38.2 and Rev 7; EW 279.2 and Eze 9; Re 8:2-5;) This includes the phrase, “144,000 in number” found in Rev 7 and in EW 14 and thus mutes the argument that would prove the 144,000 to be literal from the words “in number.”

 

I also stated that “Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God.” I will give another sentence from the same page: “I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne.” Now this praying company was in this mortal state, on the earth, yet represented to me as bowed before the throne. I never had the idea that these individuals were actually in the New Jerusalem. Neither did I ever think that any mortal could suppose that I believed that Satan was actually in the New Jerusalem. But did not John see the great red dragon in heaven? Certainly. “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns.” Revelation 12:3. What a monster to be in heaven! Here seems to be as good a chance for ridicule as in the interpretation which some have placed upon my statements.  {EW 92.2}

 

Brief Idea: Dan is missing. Joseph is there twice (as Joseph and Manasseh) in such a way as to eliminate Ephraim. Dan was the back-biting tribe, Ephraim the idol-holding tribe. Joseph was faithful at all costs. Here are some key ideas for those that want to be part of the 144,000.

 

Ge 49:16  Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

Ge 49:17  Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

Ho 4:17  Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.

 

Brief Idea: The Great Multitude clothed with “white robes” have been judged faithful (see the fifth seal) and are overcomers (See Rev 3:5 and “palms in their hands”). They have come through “great tribulation” as mentioned also in the fifth seal. And they worship God  “day and night” “in his temple.” The latter phrase, however, sounds like the 144,000.

 

And so men argue about whether the “great multitude” are all the saved, or only the 144,000, or those saved at the end of time aside from the 144,000.

 

Shame on us for arguing. The point of the passage is victory for those that are judged faithful, endure tribulation, and overcome at last. And as victory and faithfulness in tribulation is a trait of all three cases mentioned above, it may be useful to describe any of them.

 

Ellen White, like the book of Revelation, makes statements that could be taken either way, though her plainest statement makes the 144,000 distinct from the great multitude.

 

Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs.  {GC 665.2}

 

It is not wealth or intellect that gives happiness; it is true moral worth and a sense of duty performed. You may have the overcomer’s reward and stand before the throne of Christ to sing His praises in the day when He assembles His saints; but your robes must be cleansed in the blood of the Lamb, and charity must cover you as a garment, and you be found spotless and without blemish.  {4T 125.1}  John says: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” {4T 125.2}

“Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 138:6; 51:17). Those who reveal the meek and lowly spirit of Christ are tenderly regarded by God. Nothing is unnoticed by Him. He marks their self-denial, their effort to uplift Christ before the world. Though these humble workers may be looked upon with scorn by the world, they are of great value in the sight of God. Not only the wise, the great, the beneficent, will gain a passport into the heavenly courts–not only the busy worker, full of zeal and restless activity. No; the pure in heart, in whose lips there is found no guile; the poor in spirit, who are actuated by the Spirit of an abiding Christ; the peacemaker, whose highest ambition is to do God’s will–these will gain an abundant entrance. They are God’s jewels, and will be among that number of whom John writes, “I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, . . . saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6). They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them” (Revelation 7:15).  {TMK 123.3}

 

See also {BEcho, December 1, 1892 par. 7}

 

Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies. And I saw the little ones climb, or, if they chose, use their little wings and fly, to the top of the mountains and pluck the never-fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place: the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate, and the fig tree bowed down with the weight of its timely figs–these made the place all over glorious. And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, “Only the 144,000 enter this place,” and we shouted, “Alleluia.”  {EW 18.2}

This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls most glorious. The wonderful things I there saw I cannot describe. Oh, that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the better world. I saw there tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold. After we beheld the glory of the temple, we went out, and Jesus left us and went to the city. Soon we heard His lovely voice again, saying, “Come, My people, you have come out of great tribulation, and done My will; suffered for Me; come in to supper, for I will gird Myself, and serve you.” We shouted, “Alleluia! glory!” and entered into the city. And I saw a table of pure silver; it was many miles in length, yet our eyes could extend over it. I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said, “Not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land go back to earth no more. But in a little while, if faithful, you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life and drink of the water of the fountain.” And He said, “You must go back to the earth again and relate to others what I have revealed to you.” Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world. Sometimes I think I can stay here no longer; all things of earth look so dreary. I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest! {EW 19.1}

 

Regarding New Light:   Be Ready for It

“There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 35.

“. . .Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the day of Pentecost, are to shine from God’s word in their native purity. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new. . . .” Review & Herald Aug. 17, 1897.

“Precious truths that have long been in obscurity are to be revealed in a light that will make manifest their sacred worth; for God will glorify His Word, that it may appear in a light in which we have never before beheld it.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, p. 62.

“…And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure….” Great Controversy p. 522.

“In searching the Scriptures you are not to endeavor to interpret their utterances so as to agree with your preconceived ideas, but come as a learner to understand the foundation principles of the faith of Christ. With eager interest, with fervent prayer, come to the Word of God, that you may know what is truth, manifesting the same spirit as did Nathanael when he earnestly besought the Lord that he might know the truth.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work pp. 62,63 [These five paragraphs cut and pasted from one source advocating one position related to the great multitude.]

Regarding new Light: Be Wary of It

 

I was shown the danger that will threaten the church, because here and there persons will be rising up, proclaiming that they have new light. They may be those who have been regarded as humble Christians, and very conscientious in all their doings, but they do not have a good conscience. Reason and common sense are laid aside, and they become fanatical. Religious fanatics will certainly appear among us, and they will cause much care and much grief to those who have the honor of the cause of God at heart. They will not consider it their duty to counsel with their brethren.  {GCB, October 1, 1896 par. 12}

 

We are to pray for divine enlightenment, but at the same time we should be careful how we receive everything termed new light. We must beware lest, under cover of searching for new truth, Satan shall divert our minds from Christ and the special truths for this time. I have been shown that it is the device of the enemy to lead minds to dwell upon some obscure or unimportant point, something that is not fully revealed or is not essential to our salvation. This is made the absorbing theme, the “present truth,” when all their investigations and suppositions only serve to make matters more obscure than before, and to confuse the minds of some who ought to be seeking for oneness through sanctification of the truth.–Letter 7, 1891.  {1SM 159.3}

For the Word Doc, click here: Rev_7_-_Other_Thoughts

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