As the seal judgments are being dramatically unveiled to John one after another, the Lord puts a hold on everything. The interlude He interjects is sudden and unannounced. You may recall the shattering scene at the end of the sixth seal judgment, where many people hiding in caves and among the rocks of the mountains ask, “Who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17).
At that point the Lord calls a halt to the seal judgments, as if He wishes to answer that question as He provides supernatural protection for a certain number of His people. Their security stands in sharp contrast to the panic of the pagan world fleeing from judgment.
What we find in this seventh chapter is not one but two distinct groups of the redeemed: 144,000 protected, converted Jews on earth and an innumerable multitude of martyred saints in heaven.
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