Opening Prayer

Almighty God, today I look to you to guide my thinking, unravel my difficulties, and empower my decisions.


144,000 Sealed

7 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,

from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,

from the tribe of Gad 12,000,

from the tribe of Asher 12,000,

from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,

from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,

from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,

from the tribe of Levi 12,000,

from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,

from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,

from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,

from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

The Great Multitude in White Robes

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,

“they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’[a]
    nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[b]
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’[c]


  1. Revelation 7:16 Isaiah 49:10
  2. Revelation 7:17 Isaiah 49:10
  3. Revelation 7:17 Isaiah 25:8

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Open our eyes, Lord, to see the wonder of the extent of your redemption. Amen.

Think Further

Six of the seven seals have been opened, so we anticipate that this chapter will describe the completion of this task and reveal the contents of the scroll. However, the book of Revelation is full of surprises and John delays that event, providing instead a fast-forward glimpse of the very end of the story to assure us that, no matter how great the suffering to come, or how unlikely the final triumph of the Lamb of God will sometimes seem to be, the glorious fulfillment of God’s redemptive purpose for all the nations will become a reality.

There is considerable debate concerning the relationship between the 144,000 in verses 4–8 and the numberless multitude in verses 9–17. We suggest that John intends to describe the redeemed people of God from two different angles: first, from the perspective of God’s election, the symbolic number of 144,000 assures us that not a single person sealed by the Holy Spirit, Jew or Gentile, will be lost. Jesus’ great prayer in John 17 that all who have seen his glory will ‘be with me where I am’1 shall come to pass. Second, viewed from a wider angle, a vast multitude drawn from every nation, tribe and people will stream into the kingdom of God and at the end of time will join their voices together in the everlasting song before God’s throne.

Remember the actual condition of the churches described in chapters 2 and 3! Richard Bauckham points out that when Revelation was written Christians were not innumerable, but John’s faith in the promises of God leads him to envisage the time when the community of the redeemed will be a numberless company drawn from all nations.2 Today, with the growth of world Christianity, the church is closer to the fulfillment of this vision than ever before.


Reflect on that final sentence. Pray for Christians facing suffering now, elsewhere in the world.

Closing prayer

Lord, I pray for believers under pressure from persecution, to know your peace and provision amidst their earthly chaos.

Last Updated on February 25, 2023 by kingstar

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