Revelation 7:1 "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."
Second account of the Great Tribulation (parenthetical chapter)
7:1 - The four corners is an idiomatic expression for the directions, north, south, east and west. The Bible teaches that the Earth is round (Luke 17:34, Isaiah 40:22). Cross reference: Daniel 7:2
7:2-3 - This is before the seals were opened. The cross references for verse 3 are Revelation 6:3, 8:7 and Ezekiel 9:4-8.
Revelation 7:4 "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand."
The literal 144,000 Jewish saints in the Tribulation.
7:4 - These are not the JW's, rather Jewish Jews, the tribes of Israel. The phrase "servants of our God" always refers to Israel (Isaiah 61:6). The 144,000 Jews are marked in their forehead with the name of Jehovah (Ezekiel 9:1-8, Deut. 32:5, Isaiah 49:6).
7:5-8 - In verse 8, the tribe of Joseph replaces the tribe of Ephraim. In verse 7, the priestly tribe of Levi becomes a normal tribe to replace Dan. The JW's claim they are from Ephraim, but this tribe has been blotted out because they joined with idols (Hosea 4:17). More references are Amos 8:14, Deut. 29:20 and Leviticus 24:11. Dan is connected with the Antichrist in the Tribulation (Genesis 49:17).
Revelation 7:9 "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen."
Gentile saints in the Tribulation
7:9 - This verse shows that there are Gentiles that are raptured because of the phrase "all nations". These are Gentiles in the third heaven that have white robes because of their own righteousness in the Tribulation (Revelation 6:11; 3:4, 18; 19:8). Comparing verses 9-17 with verses 4-8 shows that the Church will not go through the Tribulation. Verses 4-8 show a Jewish group and 9-17 show a Gentile group. People in the Church Age are not considered Jew or Gentile after salvation (1 Cor. 12:13, Galatians 3:27-28, Ephesians 2:12-19, 4:4). Also, the Jewish in verses 4-8 are called "virgins"(plural)(Revelation 14:4), while the Church Age saints are called a "chaste virgin"(singular) (2 Cor. 11:2).
7:10-12 - This scene takes place in the third heaven. We know this because the beasts and elders are there. In verse 12, you see the seven fold doxology again.
Revelation 7:13 "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
In the Tribulation, salvation is by faith and works.
7:13-14 - These are the Tribulation saints. This is not the Christian because his white robes are his own righteousness that he earns AFTER he is saved. In verse 14, these people's robes are washed in the Blood, but not themselves like Christians are washed in the Blood (Revelation 1:4). The Great Tribulation is a time period after the Church Rapture and before the Second Coming (Matthew 24:21,29,30).
7:15 - This verse also proves that these people are not Church Age Christians because there is no temple in New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22). These are raptured Tribulation saints that include Jews and Gentiles.
7:16 - This is to Israel in the Millennium. The cross references are Isaiah 25:8 and 49:10.
7:17 - This is the first time God says he will wipe away tears. The second place is found in Revelation 21:4, which is after the White Throne Judgment where the unsaved dead are judged (Revelation 20:11-15). This time the tears are wiped away at the end of the Tribulation and after the Judgment Seat of Christ, where Christian's works are judged. Our tears are not finally wiped away until after the White Throne Judgment. We will weep at the Judgment Seat of Christ because of lost rewards and the White Throne because of lost loved ones. There are tears in heaven, but not in Eternity, which is after all of this. As Christians, we will be like Christ in heaven, but realize that Jesus wept over sinners, so that does not mean we will not cry when we see our lost loved ones get thrown into the Lake of Fire.