The Safest Place to be when Kingdoms Collide. Revelation 7:1-17 May 8th, 2016
I. Some preliminary CONSIDERATIONS
A. An answer to a QUESTION, not a CHRONOLOGY. (6:14,17; 7:3)
B. This is ONE vision with TWO parts. (7:4, 9)
C. Numbers as SYMBOLS, not STATISTICS. (7:4-8; Rom. 2:28-29;
Phil. 3:3; Gal. 3:7; Gal. 6:16)
Todays passage is one where I may run into some controversy. This chapter
has a host of differing interpretations, depending on who you ask. But there are
some basic foundational considerations that we need to hold to as we enter the
text. And whether you agree with my take on it or not, my hope is that youll at
least give it a hearing and let it challenge your thinking a bit.
1. What are some interpretations that you have heard about this passage (or that
you have held yourself) in the past?
2. Do you think that it really is one vision with two parts? Why or why not?
3. We must treat Revelations use of numbers consistently, either as symbols or
as statistics, unless there is a compelling reason otherwise. Do you agree or
disagree with that statement? Page through the book of Revelation and apply
your reasoning to some of the numbers that you see in the text.
II. SEEING the vision CLEARLY.
A. The PEOPLE of the LAMB (7:3,13-14)
B. SEALED by the SPIRIT. (II Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30)
C. on both SIDES of DEATH. (7:14-17; Rev. 1:9)
This is an important vision for Johns listeners. The question asked by the people
of the 6th seal had a lot of meaning for the suffering believers Who can stand?
John answers that question in his vision of the 144,000 who are sealed by God
in order to be protected from what is to come. But remember, His definition of
protected is different than oursbut His is far better.
4. What stands out to you about this two-part vision of chapter 7? How does it
relate to where you are in your life?
5. What do you know about the Holy Spirit? Read the passages in part B
above that Paul wrote about the seal of the spirit. What do you see there?
6. Read Rev. 7:14-17. Does this passage create a sense of longing in you?
III. The REVELATION for TODAY
A. The REALITY and ROLE of the SPIRIT. (John 14-16 esp. 16:7)
B. The utter FUTILITY of DEATH. (7:14-15; REv. 12:12; I Cor. 15:54-57)
C. The SAFEST place is in the KINGDOM of God. (7:15-17; Col.
Once again we come to what this passage means for us today. The disciples
had an experience with Jesus where He slept in the boat as they were tossed
around in a huge storm. When they finally woke Him, He calmed the storm and
then told them (pretty bluntly), You of little faith, why did you doubt? He was
trying to communicate to them the reality of Revelation chapter 7 The safest
place that you can ever be is in the Kingdom of God
7. As you read through John 14-16, what do you see to be the role of the Holy
8. How does our culture see death? How do you see death? Does a fear of
death hold power over you? Does this passage help to alleviate that?
9. If the safest place on earth is the Kingdom of God, what are the implications of
that for our day to day lives?