Revelations chapter 7 is the interlude between the opening of the 6th seal of the Plan of Salvation and the 7th seal. These are persons that are explained with greater detail that give meaning to what is happening on Earth during this period. The 144,000 that are sealed by the angel with sealing authority of God, is the gathering of the remnants of the 12 tribes of Israel who have been victorious by overcoming the world to find faith in Jesus. This does not imply that ONLY 144,000 Israelites will make Heaven! This is after the 6th seal and Israel gets "re-grafted" into the TREE. Notice the images of the 4 winds that are held back from blowing destructively on the land or sea or any tree. Tree is an image of the families of humanity. The meaning here is after the calamity introduced by the 6th seal, angels hold back the destructive forces on the earth and on the families of the earth so that the sealing angel can gather the Israelites that are still there and have faith in Christ Jesus. The honor given by covenant to Israel is without repentance! They are honored for following the Levitical order and now choosing the Good News. Israel saves the world by their shouldering God's covenant. The covenant of Abraham is being fulfilled, not only affecting Abraham's progeny, but also the entire world, anyone who has chosen faith in Christ Jesus! One note however is that Dan and Ephraim and NOT mentioned and Reuben's honor as first born has been replaced by Judah, from which David and the KING/PRIEST of the Kingdom of God has come! Levi is also now listed separately, which is a change from the Book of Numbers, where God holds Levi as His Own so they are not separately numbered. They are set apart and consecrated to administer for all 12 tribes and lived among them. Joseph is mentioned as a tribe, which it never was since Joseph was honored bu having his sons, Ephraim and Manassas, listed as (half) tribes in place of Levi and Joseph. So Joseph's name is used to represent Dan and Ephraim who have been disgraced in the Book of Judges for bring idol worship to Israel. Dan rejects the land given to them by the Lord and go to live in Ephraim. Ephraim takes Dan's land, as Dan takes idols found in Ephraim, finds a Levite to act as their priest and begins to worship idols - polluting Ephraim. This is the only reason that we can find that would explain this change. Since Gospel is based on faith, there is no further need for tabernacles and temples, since WE are the temple of God. Those who have faith in Jesus Christ are all set apart by faith and become priests and priestesses of Melchizedek, as joint heirs with the High Priest of Melchizedek, the risen Lord. At this elevation to the Gospel, Jews versus Gentiles is replaced with Believers versus non-Believers!
The Great Multitude is now in Heaven. While the gathering and sealing of Israel is being done on earth, those believers from the entire world who have been victorious (overcome the Great Tribulation) are around the throne as glorified beings praising God on The Throne and the Lamb of God that sits on the throne to the right of the Father. We know that they are glorified beings because they are wearing the holy color of white and are holding palm branches praising God BEFORE the Throne. The Great Multitude have received all that has been promised by Jesus and His Plan of Salvation. NOW the 7th seal can be broken; the work of Salvation having been completed so that the 7th Seal can bring peace or silence in Heaven! What this says to us that we must strive to be victorious with Jesus through relationship so that we can be among the Great Multitude. Jesus has already done the work so it is ALL our choices that control our fate, not some force in nature that determines it for us. Amen!