The Fifth Seal
When this seal is opened, John saw a vision of the souls martyred because of their testimonies. They hungered for judgment and vengeance, instead of getting what they asked for, they were given a white robe and told to wait a little longer. To wait until the full number of martyrs would be killed.
How often are we who are living impatient! When we receive a small injury or slight, we get worked up and demand our rights. But God has his schedule, His timing. He will do what is right, when He determines the time is right.
It’s about doing the right thing in the right time.
The Sixth Seal
There’s a great earthquake, sun turned black, the moon turned red. The stars “fell” and the “heavens” “rolled back”. Every mountain and island was “removed”.
Is this passage figurative? Literal? Or are literal events being described in a figurative way? I believe it’s the last of the three.
There’s going to be calamity. Both on earth and reflected in the “heavens”, ie space.
People try to hide from the calamity. They are aware that this (coming judgment?) is from God Himself.
They know they cannot withstand the wrath of the Lamb but they’d rather cry out to the mountains and rocks (inanimate things) rather than fall at the feet of the Lamb and beg for mercy.
Prior to the final judgment, ie the seventh seal being unsealed, God’s people are sealed against the coming judgment.
12 x 10 x 10 x 10 is 12,000
12,000 times 12 tribes = 144,000
My interpretation of Revelation 7:1-3 is that ALL of God’s people, who are alive prior to the seventh and final judgment, are sealed.
This includes God’s Chosen people (ie the hereditary Jews / Israelites) and also the followers of Christ.
Revelation 7:4-8, to me, is an aside. To indicate the multitude, ie the number is symbolic not literal, of hereditary Israelites being saved.
Whether the number is symbolic or literal is not the point. The point is that God’s people are saved from the coming judgment.
I interpret the great multitude in white robes (refer to the fifth seal for reference to white robes) as those in Christ who have already died (they are before God’s throne so ought to be either dead or raptured). The great tribulation is probably the sixth seal.
The Seventh Seal
The seventh seal is somewhat anti-climatic because when it was opened all that happens for the first 1/2 hour in heaven is silence. Now only God knows how long 1/2 hour in heaven translates to.
But after that time is up, the Golden Censer is filled with fire then hurled onto the earth. There’s peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and (another) earthquake.
Then it’s time for the Seven Trumpets…