July 5, 2020 – Revelation 7
Lesson Date: July 5, 2020
Focal Scripture Passage: Revelation 7:1-17
AIM: To lead students to discover that God exercises protective care over His children on earth and He will eventually take them to heaven where they will experience His ultimate and eternal care, and to trust God for that protection and thank Him for it.
Before class: Read the notes on Revelation 7 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Print the text of Ephesians 4:30 and 2 Timothy 4:18 on a piece of paper and seal it securely inside a large envelope. Write the word “Important” in large letters on the front of the envelope. Bring the envelope to class. If possible, also bring a document bearing a notary’s seal. Post the six “seal” envelopes you used in last week’s somewhere as a visual reminder that we’ve already learned about Christ opening six of the seven seals. Keep the “Seventh Seal” envelope handy for use next week.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Show the large sealed envelope to the class. Direct their attention to the word “Important” written on the envelope. Tell them there is something very important inside the envelope that you want to show them.
Act like you are going to open the envelope, but then “notice” that it is securely sealed. Point out the sealed flap of the envelope, and then ask: “What is the purpose of sealing the envelope? What does the seal do for the thing inside the envelope?” (it prevents it from falling out or being lost or stolen). Ask: “What does the seal do about anyone or anything outside the envelope?” (it prevents them from getting into the envelope from the outside). Tell the students the seal provides protection for the contents of the envelope.
Place the large sealed envelope in a prominent place in your classroom for use later in the lesson. Tell the students in today’s lesson we will discover a little about how God protects His children.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we are studying the book of Revelation.
- Briefly review the first six chapters of Revelation, using the following outline:
- In chapter 1 Jesus appeared to John on the island of Patmos and told him to send messages to seven churches. Chapters 2 & 3 contain those messages.
- In chapters 4 & 5 John was taken to see the throne room in heaven. There was much praise and worship for Almighty God. Jesus Christ was the only one found worthy to take the scroll containing the judgments to be poured out on the earth during the Tribulation.
- Direct the class’ attention to the six “seal” envelopes and remind them that last week we studied Revelation 6. In that chapter Jesus opened the first six seals and terrible judgments fell upon the earth and sinful mankind. In spite of those judgments, most lost people stubbornly refused to repent.
- Hold up the “Seventh Seal” envelope and tell the students the seventh seal will not be opened until chapter 8, which we will study next week.
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Rev. 6:17).
- The 144,000 Sealed Jews on Earth.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 7:1-3.
- Tell the class John saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth.
- Ask: “According to verse 1, what were these angels doing?” (holding back the wind so it would not blow on earth).
- Tell the students John saw another angel in verse 2.
- Ask: “What did this angel have?” (the seal of the living God).
- Explain the following:
- Seals were used in ancient times to protect important documents, like the large sealed envelope you brought to class.
- Seals also proved the authenticity of the document. If you brought a document bearing a notary’s seal, show that to the students at this time.
- Ask: “What did the angel with the seal tell the other angels?” (not to hurt the land, sea, or trees until he had sealed God’s servants in their foreheads).
- Tell the class the next verses reveal who received God’s seal.
- Read Revelation 7:4-8.
- Ask: “According to verse 4, how many were sealed?” (144,000).
- Ask: “Who are these sealed people?” (children of Israel: Jews).
- Ask: “How do we know for certain that these people are Jews?” (because the angel sealed 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel).
- Explain the following:
- Some people think these are not Jews but simply represent everyone who is saved.
- The Jehovah’s Witness cult uses these verses to claim that only 144,000 people throughout all eternity will genuinely be saved.
- Both of these views are wrong.
- The Bible clearly states that these are Jews who will be saved and sealed for protection during the Tribulation.
- They will follow Christ and proclaim the Gospel during the Tribulation (see Rev. 14:1-5).
- Summarize: In the midst of the terrible judgments inflicted upon the earth during the Tribulation, Christ will save and seal 144,000 Jews who will follow Him and spread the Gospel.
- An Innumerable Multitude of Gentile Believers in Heaven.
- Tell the students the 144,000 sealed Jewish believers will clearly be on earth during the Tribulation (Rev. 7:3). Next John saw a great multitude of people in heaven.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 7:9-12.
- Ask: “Are these people Jews?” (no; they are from all nations, families, people, and tongues: they are Gentiles).
- Ask: “Where did John see these people standing?” (before God’s throne in heaven).
- Tell the class John saw these people wearing white robes (representing purity and righteousness) and holding palm branches in their hands (representing praise).
- Ask: “According to verse 10, what were they doing?” (praising Jesus Christ for their salvation).
- Ask: “What do the angels do when the redeemed saints praise the Lord?” (they fall on their faces and worship God).
- Tell the students that angels are fascinated by man’s redemption (1 Pet. 1:12).
- Read Revelation 7:13-14.
- Tell the class that John was uncertain about the identity of this numberless multitude of redeemed saints praising God in heaven.
- Ask: “Who did the elder say these people are?” (those who came out of great Tribulation and had washed their robes, making them white in the blood of the Lamb).
- Explain that the word came is literally present tense and conveys the idea of continued repetition: in other words, they are still coming.
- Stress the fact that this redeemed multitude is not the church. The church will be raptured before the Tribulation begins (Rev. 4:1); the 24 elders seated around God’s throne in heaven (Rev. 4:4) represent the church.
- Tell the students this redeemed multitude in heaven consists of those who will be saved during the Tribulation and die for their faith as martyrs (Rev. 6:11).
- Tell the class the rest of this chapter tells what this numberless multitude of glorified Gentile believers do in heaven, as well as the things Christ does for them.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 7:15-17.
- Ask: “According to verse 15, where are they and what are they doing?” (they are before the throne of God and they serve Him day and night in His Temple).
- Ask: “Where does God dwell?” (among them).
- Ask: “According to verse 16, what will God protect them from?” (hunger, thirst, and the burning heat of the sun).
- Ask: “According to verse 17, what will the Lord do for them?” (feed them, lead them to living water, and wipe away all their tears).
- Summarize: Many Gentiles will come to Christ during the Tribulation and be martyred for their faith. The Lord will take them to heaven, dwell among them, and care for them.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students today’s lesson shows the Lord Jesus Christ protecting and caring for His children. First, we learned about 144,000 Jewish converts whom God will seal to protect them from harm during the Tribulation. Next, we learned about an innumerable multitude of Gentiles who will be saved and martyred during the Tribulation. They will be in heaven enjoying the protection, care, and blessings of fellowship with their Lord.
Tell the class that between the carnage and disaster we learned about in last week’s lesson (the opening of the first six seals in Rev. 6), and the catastrophe and torment coming in next week’s lesson (the seventh seal and first six trumpets in Rev. 8 and 9), God takes a brief pause to show us how lovingly He cares for His children. He will seal His children to protect them from many of the plagues and disasters on earth. When they die and go to be with Him in heaven He will lovingly care for them, provide for them, and be with them forever.
Direct the students’ attention once again to the large sealed envelope marked “Important” that you showed them during the introductory step. Open the envelope and take out the paper with the text of Ephesians 4:30 and 2 Timothy 4:18 printed on it. Read those two verses to the class.
Tell the students that just as the 144,000 Jewish believers are sealed during the Tribulation to protect them from physical harm, believers right now are sealed with the Holy Spirit. As such, they can never again be lost; in other words, there is no possibility of losing one’s salvation. We also know that God will preserve and protect those who belong to Jesus and take them to dwell with Him in heaven when they die. These are wonderful assurances!
Stress the fact that God’s protection and care are very real to everyone who belongs to Jesus Christ; but there is no such protection to those who don’t. In other words, anyone present who does not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is NOT under that protection. Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Briefly explain the plan of salvation. Urge any who are not saved to turn to Jesus now. Tell everyone to thank Jesus for the protection they enjoy because they belong to Him. Voice a closing prayer of thanks for God’s protective care.
CONCLUSION: Ask the students to memorize Revelation 7:17. Encourage them to do the Daily Bible Readings (found on pages 4-5 of their quarterlies) every day this week. Tell them when they face trials and troubles to thank the Lord for His seal of protection on their lives.
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