Sabbath School Lesson for February 2-8, 2019

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The seventh seal involves PEOPLE being sealed. Here’s how our lesson breaks down this week:

  • Sunday…What part do “restraining the winds” play in the sealing process? Why is sealing necessary?
  • Monday…Who are the 144,000? Is the number symbolic?
  • Tuesday…Who makes up the “great multitude”? What is their only claim to salvation?
  • Wednesday…What does it mean to be “the firstfruits”?
  • Thursday…How are God’s followers to be found faultless and blameless on that Great Day, when all of us have sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23)?


The six seals (Revelation 5 and 6) bring us right up to the Second Coming of Christ. Evidently, there is a brief time, right before that momentous event, when God’s people are sealed, making up the seventh seal spoken of in Revelation 7.

Naturally, God’s people have always been curious about who will be chosen to receive this seal, especially when we discover in later chapters that those who aren’t sealed with God’s name will receive instead the mark of the beast.

Up until this time, the seals have seemed connected with the scroll that Jesus holds in His hand. A seal on a document is usually for the purpose of concealment (so only certain people can read its contents) or for validation (to prove that it came from an official source).

Many products sold in stores today are “sealed” by a label or through special packaging that serves similar purposes. These seals declare ownership and protect the contents of the product.

A seal might pertain to a person in order to proclaim ownership (as in the case of an “identification mark” on a slave, gang member, etc.), and/or to provide someone with a shield of protection (such as circumcision or baptism in the Bible).

Why would God need to seal His people during these final days of earth’s history? Our study this week will help us understand this seventh and final seal.

Memory Text: ” ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ “ Revelation 7:14 NKJV

How can anyone be made white by coming in contact with blood? And yet, there are many people proclaimed righteous, who have achieved this status by their association with the pure and righteous Lamb of God. Even the great tribulation can’t prevent the washing spoken of here.

Sunday: Restraining the Winds

In prophecy, wind is usually seen as a force of destruction. Even the gentle winds that blow over grass, erases the life of the flower, used to describe the life of man. “…As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone…” Psalm 103:15 NKJV

Usually wind comes from one direction at a time, but the symbolic winds, described in Revelation, come from all four directions. We can immediately see that the destruction will be like none we have ever known (Matthew 24:21).

Initially, angels are assigned to hold back these destructive forces, but when God’s people are sealed, when everyone’s judgment has been determined, then the most horrendous events will occur.

That protective sealing will become part of our salvation from this earth. The intense, last moments will, no doubt, be rapid ones. See Matthew 24:22 (“except those days should be shortened”).

Discussion Questions:

Read Revelation 7:1, Zechariah 7:14. Acts 2:2, and John 3:8. Why would God use a symbol like wind to help describe these final moments of earth’s history, but also to describe the work of the Holy Spirit? How can actual wind be both beneficial and harmful?

Read Revelation 7:2, 2 Timothy 2:19, Revelation 9:4, and Psalm 91:9-11. How does this sealing denote ownership, but also provide us with protection in those final hours? How are/were the Sabbath, baptism, and circumcision, used as forms of a symbolic sealing of God’s people?

Read Revelation 7:3 and 14:7, 9. What does it mean to have God’s seal on their foreheads? Why is the mark of the beast to be either on the forehead or the hand?

Monday: The Sealed People of God

The number of this group, being 144,000, has troubled many readers of Revelation. With the vast population of the world today, it seems to be a very low figure, if it represents all the righteous who will be alive when Jesus comes.

However, the nature of 144,000, being a multiple of 12 (12 times 12 times 1,000), points strongly to it being a symbolic number. It would then represent all God’s people, Jews (there were 12 tribes), and Gentiles (the 12 disciples, who preached to the Gentiles). These groups of twelve are then symbolic of God’s chosen ones, who are called to spread the gospel of God’s love to a fallen world. A very fitting description of God’s people who survive those final hours before Christ returns.

Even the twelve tribes mentioned in Revelation 7 must be seen as symbolic, since none of these tribes now exist. Spiritually speaking, it’s interesting to note that two of the original tribes (found in previous lists–Numbers 1:5-15 and Ezekiel 48:1-29) are omitted from the list in Revelation 7. Dan and Ephraim were later found to be apostate and idolatrous tribes, and were replaced with Joseph and Levi in John’s list in the book of Revelation.

Also, of interest, is James’ greeting in his epistle (James 1:1). He addresses his letter “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.” To James, members of the New Testament church were symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Discussion Questions:

Read Revelation 7:3. Why does the sealing take place before the earth is harmed?

Read Revelation 7:4, 2:17, and 22:4. Why is God’s name symbolically sealed on their foreheads? Is this the “new name” promised to the church in Pergamos, and what makes it new?

Read Exodus 20:8:10, 11. What does this commandment tell us about God and what our relationship with Him should be? What do God’s people rest from on the Sabbath day and how does this show our allegiance to God?

Tuesday: The Great Multitude

Four descriptions of the great multitude, spoken of in Revelation 7:9, 10, help us understand who they are.

  1. They were numberless (couldn’t be numbered).
  2. They consisted of people from all races and nationalities.
  3. They had received Christ’s righteousness (wore white robes).
  4. They praised God, stood before God’s throne and considered Him their triumphant King (waved palm branches).

This great multitude might represent all God’s people down through the ages, who have suffered for Him. Just as the 144,000 were those who suffered right before the Second Coming. These appear to be martyrs, or those who suffered religious persecution, including death, at any time on earth.

There is some speculation as to whether the 144,000 and the “great multitude” might be talking about the same people in the end-times. With the 144,000 being a symbolic number for the great multitude.

Either way one looks at it, we can be assured that those who have been through the most tribulation and persecution will be “front and center” near God’s throne, praising Him wildly with grateful hearts and joyful song.

Discussion Questions:

Read Revelation 7:9 and Matthew 12:15. Why did great multitudes follow Jesus, as He ministered here on earth?

Read John 12:13. What do the palm branches (Revelation 7:9) tell us about the reason the great multitude is worshiping God?

Read Revelation 7:10 and 5:13. Why are both God the Father and God the Son worthy of this worship? What does this say about the deity of Christ?

Wednesday: Those Who Follow the Lamb

To understand more fully who the 144,000 are, we need to see the additional description of this group in Revelation 14:1-5. We can then see ample reason why they are considered the first fruits of the redeemed. Here is what we notice about them in this passage. They…

  1. have the Father’s name written on their foreheads (v. 1).
  2. sing a new song (v. 3).
  3. are not defiled with women (v. 4).
  4. follow the Lamb (v. 4).
  5.  were redeemed (v. 4).
  6.  are called “the firstfruits” (v. 4).
  7. are without fault before the throne (v. 5).

(Notice there are seven identification marks in this passage, and remember how Hebrew literature recognizes the one in the middle as most significant…”they follow the Lamb”. No wonder they are found so close to Him in the heavenly throne room.)

The attributes of these saints are summed up in Revelation 14:12:

“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” NKJV

Both God the Father and God the Son are mentioned in this verse. These are indeed trademarks of God’s true church.

In understanding what it means to not be defiled with women, we can go to Revelation 17:5, 6 and discover more about these particular symbols. Remember, a woman represents God’s church. Therefore, a harlot would be an adulterous church that has turned to apostasy and idolatry, a sign of worshiping another god. Revelation refers to a massive church movement that fits this description. Her name is Babylon the Great (Revelation 14:8).

Discussion Questions:

Read Revelation 14:1, 2, 1:13-15. Who speaks just prior to the heavenly choir’s “new song”?

Read Revelation 14:3, 5:9, 10. What makes this a “new song”?

Read Revelation 14:4, James 1:18, and John 1:13. Why are God’s redeemed considered His firstfruits?

Thursday: Salvation to Our God and the Lamb

Revelation 14:5 tells us that God’s redeemed will be without fault. This idea of a people being blameless, and apparently perfect before God, has caused many to worry needlessly that they will never reach the standard needed to meet the Lord at His Second Coming and be a part of His heavenly Kingdom.

But we must not lose sight of the fact that we will always need God’s forgiveness, even when our present lives are in line with His will. A study of Romans 3 convinces us of the unrighteous nature of mankind. On our own, we will always be powerless to do anything in harmony with God. It is only by being covered with Christ’s righteousness (as this sealing time indicates) that we have any chance to make it to heaven, let alone survive the last conflict before His Coming.

What makes the claim of the 144,000 as being without blame and faultless is the fact that they have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14 NKJV) This, of course, is no different than any of us are invited to do. We, too, can achieve the kind of loyalty that makes us more willing to die than to sin against God.

Thankfully, there will be a group of people who maintain this very close relationship with God that allows them to endure, even during the final, dramatic conflict on earth.

Discussion Questions:

Read Revelation 14:5, Isaiah 53:7, 9, John 14:6. What does it mean not to have “deceit” in our lives? How does this make us like the Lamb of God? What is the main “truth” we are to proclaim?

Read Ephesians 5:27 and Philippians 2:15. For what two reasons will God’s last-day people need to be “holy and without blemish”?

Read Romans 3:9-19, 24, 25. What is our only hope of being free of our sin–even down to the end of time? How does the sealing guard against being “on our own” during the final tribulation?

And, finally…

Chapter 7 in Revelation, studied this week, may be the first time we start to feel uncertainty over many of the symbols and events portrayed to John in this panoramic vision on Patmos.

This is understandable, due to the fact that, to us, John ceases to describe past, or even present, church periods. The seventh seal reaches out uncomfortably to our future. And it is not a future, at least for a short time, that anyone on this planet would desire or want to encourage. Even God appears hesitant to unleash the horrendous consequences of sin that has multiplied over the centuries.

Because of the speculative nature of the topics presented this week and the rest of the quarter, I would also encourage you to consider some ideas about conducting Bible classes that might help divert any trouble spots you may have experienced in your particular Sabbath School experience, either now or in the past.

See my article on this at

Too often, we allow our discussions to descend into heated, emotional debates, or into the expression of trivial differences over non-essential matters. Let’s seek ways to prevent this from happening when we meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ to be nurtured by God’s word. Remembering the part that unity plays in our survival, let’s strive to stay away from practices that tend to divide and separate us.

Also, don’t forget to memorize another verse of Psalm 91. This week we attempt to learn v. 7. It’s short, but very important for God’s children to remember, especially at the end…

“A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.” NKJV

…because we are sealed!

Next Week’s Lesson: The Seven Trumpets

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