Much of Revelations 6-11 speaks to some as what has already occurred if you are a preterist for others whether you are pre-, mid, or post-trib, what is still to come. What I am going to focus on in these chapters is what we can apply to right now! For it says in Revelation 1:3 "blessed is the one who hears and keeps the words in this prophecy." What we see mainly in these chapters are the seals and trumpets of judgment. In chapters seven and eleven though we have some scriptures that I believe the Lord would have me highlight that can be used to deepen our intimacy with the Lord.
So just like you would go into a 7-Eleven convenience store and choose something that stands out to munch on, I have chosen out of Revelation 6-11, some verses in chapters 7 and Eleven to munch on. Most things in a convenience store are not beneficial to our good health, now all of scripture is beneficial but you understand my point, I am choosing some things that I believe will most benefit us today. Some healthy goodies that will bring us nourishment.
We see at the beginning of chapter seven after the Lord revealed the seals of judgment, He now reveals how 144,000 will be sealed or protected by God during this time of great tribulation. There is a lot of speculation about who these 144,000 are, but as we see in the scriptures they include 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.
What we can take from this is that those who walk with God are sealed, divinely protected. Let's look at some scripture:
"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame" - Song of Solomon 8:6
"In Him you also, after hearing the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and after believing in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit," Eph. 1:13
We have a seal over our heart, the Holy Spirit, so we can trust the Lord as long as we are choosing to follow His lead we are walking in divine protection. We need not fear like the world, God got us, death has been swallowed up, even when our physical bodies perish, we have eternal life as spirit beings.
In verses nine through seventeen we see a picture of a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
The Lord's will is for that which is in heaven to be done here on earth. When we on earth gather together in the diversity of ethnicity, in the worship of the Lord, we are reflecting heaven. So therefore it should be our prayer to see it become our reality. We, therefore, are to embrace and celebrate diversity, as the Lord brings the different ethnic groups together, which we are beginning to witness here at Praise Tabernacle. What we are to do individually is look for every opportunity to build relationships with people that are different from the culture in which we were raised. Just being in the same room does not mean we are really together, our hearts must be joined. This takes knowing each other's stories, learning to identify with each other's pains. It is a process but it is worth the sacrifice of comfort and the fear of offense. Our call as the church is to reflect heaven not to be like the world.
What was this multitude in this vision doing in heaven?
They were shouting with a great roar, "Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings, and they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshipped God. They sang, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever, Amen!"
We are called to live a lifestyle of worship, it is more than a song, it is a way of life, where we walk in the power and strength of God every day in every situation bringing honor and glory to Him through everything we say and do.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Cor. 10:31
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." - Deut. 6:5
"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." - Col. 3:17
Now we see in verse 13 one of the elders asking "Who are these who are dressed in white?" He goes along and says "these are the ones who died in the great tribulation. He now tells John that they now serve God day and night at His throne and that they now have shelter and will never hunger or thirst again and their tears have been wiped away.
This gives those who are going through major difficulties the hope that there will be a day when the pains of this world are gone. This age is only temporary, it is like just a wink of the eye compared to eternity. Yet, even in this age spiritually we already are clothed in God's righteousness and we can look to Him for help and deliverance.
"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin so that we could be made right with God through Christ." 2 Cor. 5:21
"17 You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here. 18 So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on." 2 Cor. 4:17-18
"My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!" Psalm 121:2
It is so important that we live on every word that comes from God, this world is full of lies and deception and we will get caught up in it if we are not relying daily on the Word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit. If you are battling with your mind and emotions I encourage you right now to run to the Father.
"But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” - Matthew 4:4
In chapter eleven we read about the two witnesses which most theologians believe are Enoch and Elijah who were taken to heaven without physical death. Here during the great tribulation, they will appear in Jerusalem and have supernatural protection to prophesy even in the midst of those who want to harm them, they will be empowered to close up the sky, have power over the waters, and to turn them into the blood and to strike the earth with every plague whenever they want. They eventually will be martyred by the beast but after 3 and a half days they will be resurrected, for the whole world to see.
In Revelations 11:15, the seventh trumpet is released and the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever!"
This is a picture of what is to come but the question is what are we to be doing here and now?
"13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come." Luke 19:13
"12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." Habakuk 2:14
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19
So we see clearly that we are not just to sit around and wait for this to happen, we are to get to work, not our own works but to be vessels of the Holy Spirit, for God to use us daily to advance His Kingdom as we continue the work of His Son, destroying the works of the Devil, saving those that are lost, making disciples of others, healing the sick, raising the dead, miracles, signs and wonders, and through it all most importantly sharing the love of God. There is a great reward for those who obey this as we see in the last few verses of Revelations 11.
"16And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying,
“We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18“And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm."