Before the opening of the seventh seal there is an interlude to give time to seal the saved people of God. This chapter has symbolism that has caused a lot of confusion among Christians. Most notably is the 144,000 people saved. This number is symbolic not literal. It represents people from the 12 tribes and followers of the 12 apostles. The number is 12 times 12 times 10 cubed which represents a great number of people from every tribe and followers of Christ from any place in the world. We see this later in the chapter when John says that there is a great multitude from every tribe and nation that no one can count in the throne room of God. The other symbol in this chapter that causes controversy is the seal on the forehead. The seal is a sign of ownership showing that those sealed are owned by God and will not be taken from Gods ownership in spite of the events that are about to unfold. There is no reason to think this is an actual physical marking. God recognizes his people he doesn’t need some other marking to help him. John was trying to assure the people of his time that once they became one of God’s people no one could take that away from them. That should be the message we take also no more no less. What’s interesting to me in this chapter is that God is using angels to intervene in things happening on earth but that doesn’t get much discussion. Do you think that actually happens or is this just symbolic? It seems to me that the winds, which are not mentioned again, are symbolic of the things that come in the following chapters but I believe in angels and think they can impact things in our lives.
When John actually looks to see how many people there are it’s much more than the 144,000. There are people wearing white robes of purity holding palm branches signifying victory. They have been made pure by Jesus blood. These people have made it through all the trials and temptations of the previous six seals. They are now under God’s protection and care through eternity. Revelation could end here. John, however, has more to say.