Q. Is the group of saints mentioned in Revelation 20:4 the same group from Revelation 7:13-17? They sound the same but the wording seems to indicate they have different destinies. Can you please clarify?
A. The two are different from each other although both groups consist of post-rapture believers. The group in Rev. 7 consists of believers who will have failed to come to the Lord prior to the rapture, but will do so shortly afterward. By saying they have come out of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14) the angel is referring to both its time and place. They will die during the seal judgments, early in the first half of Daniel’s 70th Week, before the great tribulation begins.
In Rev. 20:4 we see a group of believers who will have been beheaded for not worshiping the anti-Christ or taking his mark. Since the mark of the beast will not be instituted until Rev. 13:16 at the beginning the second half of Daniel’s 70th Week, (the Great Tribulation) they can’t be the same as the martyrs from Rev. 7.
You’re correct in saying their destinies are different. They’re different from each other and both are different from the church. The group from Rev. 7 will serve God in His Temple but are never called priests. The group from Rev. 20 will reign with Christ for 1,000 years but are never called kings. Only the Church will be called kings and priests.