Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Revelation - Chapter 8

A Study of the Book of Revelation
Chapter 08

The book of Revelation is a sermon preached on a Sunday in A.D. 96 on the Isle of Patmos to one man, John.  It is not a short sermon.  It takes a while to read and it probably took a while for Christ to deliver it.

Revelation Ch 1 – Introduction
Revelation Ch 2 & 3 – The history of the church age
Revelation Ch 4 & 5 – The church in Heaven
Revelation Ch 6 – 19 – The story of the Tribulation
Revelation Ch 20 – The Millennium
Revelation Ch 20 – 22 – The eternal kingdom

This is not an obscure book.  It is a part of the Bible and God means for us to understand it.  Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 6 gave us a summary of the Tribulation and Chapter 7 gave us the story of evangelism in the Tribulation.  

Now chapter 8 begins the story of the three judgments.  

There are three series of judgments in chapters 6 through 19.

The seven seals, a summary of the Tribulation.  Next, comes the seven trumpets, and this is the Tribulation judgments from the standpoint of the Gentiles.

Next, we move to the seven vials and this is the Tribulation judgments from the standpoint of the Jews.

While the church is in Heaven, just following the rapture as the church is being prepared as the bride of Christ, we have the most terrible period in world history.  Following this seven year period of horror and slaughter, will come the second advent of Christ and His thousand year reign.

1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

Revelation 8 brings us to another crisis event. 

Here He opens the seventh seal.
Six seals have been opened previously and judgment has poured forth.  Now the last of the seals is opened and is followed by an amazing response.

There is immediately an ominous hush throughout heaven.

Silence in heaven – means these judgments are so terrible they will make people hold their breath.

Heaven was shocked, but remember they do not occur until the people have the opportunity to be saved. (Silence is reverence for God’s plan)

Read Zechariah 2:13 “Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”

Moments before the whole company of angels, living creatures and elders was engaged in tumultuous praise of the one sitting on the throne and of the Lamb of God.

Now, suddenly, there is silence so intense you can feel it.

The angels were speechless for 30 minutes.  They could not talk.

They may have been silenced to hear the prayers of saints in verse 4.

The final seal has been torn away from the title deed to the universe and the calamities about to be witnessed are so awful that the company of heaven is speechless.

This is the calm before the storm and lasts a full thirty minutes.

If the coming judgment is so intense that the angels silently gasp in horror, how much more should me be alarmed at this terrible judgment and rush to be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

And I saw – This is John looking

As the vision continues, John is shown seven angels who stand before God and receive seven trumpets.  These are special angels, for they are called the seven angels, a distinct group for a distinct purpose.

Seven angels – perfect number and perfect judgments of God – means seven select angels that are going to blow the trumpets

God uses angels sometimes to bring about His judgments

God used angels at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

They are marked by special power, dignity, and service (Heb. 1:7, 14).

“Stood” – is in the perfect tense and means they have been standing there for a long time.  It means they have been instructed about the judgments and they stand ready to serve.

The trumpets are instruments of proclamation.  The sounding of the trumpet is always followed by an outstanding announcement or event (Ex. 19:16; 20:18; Jer 4:5; 1 Cor 15:51-52; 1 Thess 4:16)

Seven Points Regarding the Seven Trumpets
1.      A trumpet is a judgment which takes place in the Tribulation to judge the Gentiles
2.      These judgments are directed toward unbelieving Gentiles.
3.      In this chapter (8), only four trumpets are given. The remaining three are given in chapter 10.
4.      These four trumpets are directed against nature, while in chapter 10, the last three trumpet judgments are directed against mankind.
5.      In the first four trumpets, we have seven verses to describe them.  In the last three, we have 50 verses to describe them.  The last three are the most important.
6.      The trumpet judgments are held up until the 144,000 Jewish evangelists are sealed.  There are only six seals in Revelation 6.  There are seven in all, but only six in chapter 6.  The seventh seal is the beginning of the seven trumpets.  This is the principle of grace before judgment.  All have opportunity to be saved.  Now in chapter 8, we move into the seventh seal and this seventh seal contains the seven judgments.  This is judgment against the Gentiles.
7.      The seventh trumpet is the second advent of the Jesus Christ.  So the trumpets take us all the way down to the second advent of Christ.  Actually, you have a three reel film here:
a.      Chapter 6. A general summary of the Tribulation.
b.      Chapter 8. Here we begin the judgment of the Gentiles.
c.       Last, we move to the vials and this is the history judgment for the Jews.

In verses 3-6, we have an answer to the prayers of the believers who are martyred during the Tribulation.

In Matthew 24, Jesus warned the Jews to run to the mountains of Edom, Moab and Ammon and stay there.

That was during the first half of the Tribulation.

Now during the last half of the Tribulation, they are warned to stand their ground and fight.

Zechariah 14 describes this.  If they follow instructions, then everything will turn out right.  

 The Gentiles resist and many are tortured and killed.

When religion takes over, then the most terrible things you can imagine take place.

Jesus condemned religion as the worst enemy man has to face.  Religion is going to take over in the Tribulation and persecute these Gentiles, and while they are dying they are going to do something.

Under terrible persecution, they are going to put the whole thing in the Lord’s hands.  The principle is this, put it all in the Lord’s hands for He says “Vengeance is mine, I will repay sayeth the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

They are going to pray and leave vengeance in the hands of God.  No one can harm a believer without getting discipline from God.  

Judging others is a sin and it leads to sin.  Instead of your judgment falling on them, it turns back and falls on you.  And this leads to self-induced misery.

The Christian way of life is designed for a relaxed, happy life.  So live your life as unto the Lord and let other people do the same.

There is always some spiritual bully around who has failed miserably and he will try to live your life for you.  Break away from this kind of person just as fast as you can.

Live by doctrine and let each person live his own life.  In our story here, these believers are relaxed and they turn everything over to the Lord.  These believers are not afraid and those who die glorify God in their death.

3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

Before the trumpets can be sounded, another angel appears, standing before the altar with a gold censer and much incense.  

This angel with the golden shovel in his hand represents answered prayer.

Another – refers to the fact that he is the same kind of angel as we saw in the seven trumpets.
The eighth angel pops up and he has a golden shovel in his hand.  He stands in front of an exact replica of the temple.

This reproduction is in Heaven.  We see the golden altar of incense and the censer with burning coals.

This golden altar is the message center of prayer.  So everything in both the tabernacle and the temple was to teach the Jews about Christ.

The brazen altar spoke of the cross and here the sacrifices were offered.

On the golden altar, they placed incense and this was a picture of their prayers that rose up to the throne of God.

This is outlined in Exodus 30:1-10 and Exodus 37:25-28.

The altar was made of Acacia wood, which stood for the humanity of Christ, and it was overlaid with gold, which represented the deity of Christ.

It is impossible for deity and eternal life to die.  It was impossible for Jesus to die in His deity, and this is why it was necessary for Him to become a human being.

The sins of the world were poured out on Christ on the cross and He died spiritually and then He died physically.

So Jesus is different from all others.  He is unique.

This sweet-smelling incense rising up to God is a picture of the prayers of these dying Gentiles in the Tribulation.

These are tribulation saints, believers who were martyred in the Tribulation, and we will meet them again in Revelation 13 and 17.

Some of the prayers they offered were anticipated prophetically in Psalm 13.  Here are some of the actual prayers of believers in the Tribulation dealing with this situation.

Psalm 44:22                Psalm 54:5                  Psalm 79:5                  Psalm 143:12

This verse refers to the prayers of dying Gentile believers in the Tribulation.  Their prayers are answered with the judgments of these seven trumpets.

These trumpet messages are beamed against those responsible for these tribulational martyrs. 
Instead of trying to take vengeance, they left vengeance in the hands of the Lord.

Another angel – this is not Christ, Christ is in Heaven opening the seals, so this is a special angel.

Golden censer – is a shovel.

Given unto him much incense – represents many prayers.

Prayers of all saints – This is not prayers of church, but prayers of tribulation saints.

4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

The incense, symbolic of the finished work of Christ, causes smoke to rise to the throne of God along with the prayers of the saints.

The reason our prayers have any effectiveness at all is because of the sweet savor of Christ’s finished work at Calvary and His present intercessory work on our behalf.

Smoke of the incense – This is a picture of the prayers of the tribulation saints.

This may be the reason for the 30 minutes of silence in Heaven back in verse 1.  God may have been listening to the prayers.

These are Gentile saints.

Prayer is the great grace weapon in the hands of believers, God always hears.

5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Once prayer ascends, judgment descends. 

The fire represents judgment as do the thunder, lightning, and earthquake.

The seven angels are now ready to sound the seven trumpets proclaiming God’s judgment.

6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Seven angels – means seven leading angels or high officials.

Seven speaks of perfection.

Seven trumpets – speak of complete judgment.

Trumpets were used to signal the battle cry.

These seven angels were ready.

The first four trumpets are natural disasters and take up seven verses.

The second three trumpets are judgment from God and take up 50 verses.

The first four trumpet judgments fall in three categories:
a.      Agricultural – grass and trees.
b.      Aquatic – salt water and fresh water.
c.       Astronomic – sun, moon, and stars.

7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

As the first trumpet is blown, John sees hail and fire mixed with blood fiercely falling to the earth.

First angel – first of the seven leading angels.

Sounded – This is the first trumpet judgment.

This judgment of God is through the destruction of agriculture.

One third of plants and trees that produce food will be destroyed.

So great is the devastation that 1/3 of the earth’s trees and green grass is completely burned up.

The dictator of the revived Roman Empire will begin to employ methods of refusal to sell food to believers.

Only those who have the mark of the beast on their person will be able to get food.

This judgment was an attack on vegetation.
This is a literal burning up of 1/3 of the earth’s vegetation.

There is no reason to assume this to be figurative, since we take the plagues of Egypt to be literal (Ex. 9:23-24).

8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

The second angel sounds a trumpet and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.

It is not necessary that we identify this instrument of judgment with anything in our present realm of experience.

It may be a meteoric mass blazing from the sky and falling headlong into the sea.  It may be some atomic reaction.  Whatever it is, the destruction caused is unbelievable.

Second angel – one of the leading angels

Sounded – this second trumpet judgement

As it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.  This is a mass of chemicals going into the sea.

This judgment is against water (salt water).

1/3 of the sea became blood.  

9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

1/3 of fish life died.  The world depends on sea for food.

1/3 of ships were destroyed.  The world depends on the sea and ships for transportation of food.

This judgment along with a 1/3 of agriculture destroyed begins to lead to world wide hunger and the mark of the beast.

Imagine – 1/3 of all sea life dying.

This will not be any time to be on a pleasure cruise.

10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

As the trumpet of the third angel sounds, there falls a great star from heaven.

Third angel – one of the seven leading angels.

Sounded – This is the third trumpet judgment.

This is also a judgment on water (fresh water).

Great star falling burning like a lamp.  This is also some type of mass chemicals falling on the fresh water streams of the earth.
Perhaps a meteor, a great glowing body will fall to earth and destroy another 1/3 of the world’s water supply, including underground sources of water.

This attack is on fresh water, lakes and rivers.  All life in them will die, completely destroyed.

Turning sweet water bitter, this judgment will mean that now 2/3 of the world’s water will be deadly poison.

11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Name of the star is Wormwood, which means a liquid poison.

A species of plant related to our sagebrush, wormwood is always used as a symbol of bitterness.  

It makes a liquor which leads to mental deterioration and death.  From drinking the waters poisoned by the star Wormwood, men will go out of their minds and die in judgment.

12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

Fourth angel – one of the seven leading angels.

Sounded – This is the fourth trumpet judgment.

This is celestial activity.

The sun, moon and stars are greatly affected.
The judgment of the fourth trumpet causes 1/3 of the sun to be blackened, 1/3 of the moon, and 1/3 of all the stars.

There will be a great decrease in the amount of light and in the time that reduced light is visible, for the hours of light during the day will be reduced by 1/3.

These are natural disasters.

This is bad, but the worst is yet to come.

Notice the progression of the judgments stemming from the trumpets.

Small amount of food available, transportation and food distribution hampered, water is limited, light for food production and harvesting is curtailed.

These will be dark days indeed, in more than one sense of the word.

13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

If you think this is a bleak picture, you haven’t seen anything yet.

And I beheld – John looked suddenly

John saw an announcing angel.

Saying with a loud voice – clear and unmistakable voice.

The “woe, woe, woe” is announcing the next three judgments.

The first woe is trumpet #5 and is described in Rev. 9:1-12

The second woe is trumpet #6 and is described in Rev. 9:13 – 11:14

The third woe is trumpet #7 and is described in Rev. 11:15 – 12:17.

The announcing angel is warning that the worst is yet to come.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Revelation - Chapter 7

A Study of the Book of Revelation
Chapter 07

This Tribulation is the last seven years of the Jewish age.  In chapter 6, we saw a summary of the Tribulation period and now we come to look at the events step by step.

In Revelation 6:17, which really should be part of chapter 7, the Scripture asks who shall be able to stand.

Now we are to learn who shall be able to stand. 

The phrase “the great day of his wrath” in Revelation 6:17 is a technical term for the seven year Tribulation.

Chapter 7 is a chapter on evangelism.  The seven year Tribulation will start out with only unbelievers, but many will be saved during the Tribulation from both Jews and Gentiles.
Even though this period of time will be the worst period in human history, many will come to know Christ as Savior.

Even though the Tribulation will be a time of religion, many will come to know Christ instead.
Religion is an enemy of Christ.  Religion may be the worst enemy to ever come to man.

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. 

The “fours” here represent the universality of these angels’ activity.

“After these things” – the outline given in chapter 6.

“I saw four angels” – four living creatures, these are holy angels or God’s special angels.

“Four corners of the earth.” This is a technical term for the four points of the compass, north, south, east, and west.  It does not mean the earth is flat.  Job spoke of the circle of the earth.

Here an angel is standing at each place to give direction, and to judge the various segments of the human race.  They are holding back the winds of judgment. This is the doctrine of grace before judgment.

Why are the angels holding back the winds of judgment?

Because the 144,000 Jewish evangelists are going out to proclaim the message of God.

Remember, the church has been raptured and there are no believers on earth at the beginning of the Tribulation, but many are going to hear the message of these Jews and believe.

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, 

Revelation 7:2-3 depicts a fifth and apparently superior angel arising out of the east and instructing the four angels.

“Another” – another angel of the same kind.

Ascending from the east – The Greek says, “From the rising of the sun.”

The seal of the living God refers to protection.  The 144,000 Jews are protected by divine command.

3. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 

These angels are restraining judgment long enough to reveal God’s grace.

They are holding on to the winds of God’s judgment so that He may save two great throngs of people during this Tribulation Period.

Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees – These Jews are proclaiming the message of God under divine protection.

Sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads – This may refer to the seat of your thinking or the thinking part of your mind.

I don’t think this refers to a literal mark on their foreheads; rather the doctrine they hold in their minds.

These 144,000 Jews are going to be sealed.

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. 

The first group God chooses to save are “sealed” during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation (vs. 3-8).

“Were sealed” – perfect tense and means they were sealed and will remain sealed forever.

The purpose of the seal is to indicate ownership, and the reference to their foreheads suggests that they are publicly known as the saved of God.

Sealed means God saved them and the devil cannot get them.

If you are saved, you have been sealed. This is passive voice, meaning you can’t do it, God has to seal you.

The number to be sealed is 144,000, and God’s revelation to John clearly indicates that this group of 144,000 is composed of 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The constant repetition of the phrase of the tribe of … were sealed (vs. 5-8) is too forceful to allow any other biblical or logical conclusion.

144,000 sealed. These are radical Jews.  They have genes of Abraham, they are protected. They will be going out and preaching during the worst time in human history.

During this time, the revived Roman empire will rule the world and during this time, the dictator of Palestine will rise up from the tribe of Dan.

He will set on the throne at Jerusalem and demand to be worshiped.  He will put up a statue in the temple and demand the whole world to bow down to him.  If you don’t bow down, you will not eat.

Verses 5-8:

Here is the list of the house of Jacob that will furnish the evangelists in the Tribulation.  Notice the tribe of Dan is not mentioned.

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. 

Judah. This is the ruling tribe, the aristocratic tribe.

Jesus is of this tribe and is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

Jesus is David’s greater son. 

David was from this tribe.

Reuben.  Reuben was mentioned second for he was the firstborn. But he lost his rulership to Judah, by the grace of God He gave him 12,000.

Gad. Gas was the 7th son in the list.

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. 

Asher. Was the 8th son.

Nepthalim. Was the 6th son of Jacob. His name means the son of my wrestling.

Manasseh. Was the weakest of the tribes, but again, this illustrates the grace of God.

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. 

Simeon. This was a very weak tribe and they never did take any land of their own and were scattered all over Palestine.  God used them nevertheless under the principle that my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Levi. This is the greatest principle of cursing turned to blessing.

This is one of the brothers who pulled a terrible stunt and God said to this man that he would never inherit any land.

Levi was to get no land, but Levi repented, and under the ideal of a curse being turned into a blessing, God made him the priestly tribe.

He became the spiritual administrator of the land. So they were scattered among all the other tribes to be the spiritual administrators.  This is the only kind of people God can use – those who are at the end of their strength and their spiritual assets.

We are what we are because of the grace of God.  God uses the hopeless and the helpless.

Levi rebounded and became the priests, and Simeon didn’t rebound and was just phased out.
Issachar.  The name really means a strong donkey.  It means one who is able to produce. It is production based on grace.

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. 

Zabulon. This means a haven for ships. Land of Zabulon is the commerce area of the land.  God uses all kinds of business for His glory.

Joseph. Jospeh here actually refers to Ephraim. The tribe cannot be named for they led the revolt against Judah. 

So Ephraim is not mentioned, but his father’s name is mentioned instead.  Ephraim had mental attitude sins and lacked love.  For this reason Joseph is mentioned in his place.

Benjamin.  It means son of my right hand and this is also a title used for Jesus Christ.

Benjamin was the tribe faithful to Judah in the split which came later, and God rewarded Benjamin for their fidelity.

There are 13 tribes, 12 are named and Dan is omitted.

There is significant reason Dan is omitted, from this tribe will come the false prophet.

He will be the dictator of Israel during the Tribulation.  We know this from Genesis 49:17, where he is described as being a serpent.

Dan is also the tribe that initiated and led in idolatry (Lev. 24:11). 

The golden calf was set up by Dan (1 Kings 11:26).

The 144,000 witnesses are Jewish evangelists during the Tribulation and in the next verses; we are going to meet the converts of these Jewish evangelists.

The details of their ministry throughout the earth are spelled out in chapter 14.

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; 

Because this vast number of Jewish servants faithfully witness to the saving power of Christ Jesus, a second group of individuals is saved.

After this – after the witnessing of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.

A great multitude – which no man could number. The word for number is arithemeo and we get our word arithmetic from this word.

Only God can number them.

Of all nations – The word for nations is tawelhnea ethne and it means Gentiles, non-Jews.  The same word is used in Matthew 25:31-35 (all nations).

Let’s look at Matthew 25

31. ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

When the son of man – refers to His humanity. When Jesus comes back to the earth, He comes in glory. This is His second advent. The elect angels come along to see the end of the angelic conflict.

32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

The “all nations” refers to all the Gentiles.  They are divided into two groups – the sheep and the goats.  The 144,000 preach Christ to them and those who accept Christ go into the Millennium, and unbelievers are taken off the earth.

34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

This is Christ’s invitation to these saved Gentiles of the Tribulation to enter into the Millennium.

35. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

The sheep were confused and didn’t know what Jesus meant.  The principle was this: when you touch a Christian, you touch Christ.  Paul was persecuting Christians on the road to Damascus and the voice of Jesus said to him, “Why persecutes thou me?” When you touch a Christian, you touch Christ.

40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The least of my brethren are the 144,000 Jewish evangelists during the Tribulation.  Gentiles take in these Jewish evangelists, befriend them and give them shelter and in this way, they show their faith in Christ and they receive a blessing for their faith.

41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

“Ye cursed” is a perfect tense and means that every time they heard the gospel, they rejected Christ and said, No.  As a result of their own free will, they rejected Christ.

44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

The important thing in this verse is “Lord, when did we do this?”

45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

“One of the least of these” refers to the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.

46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

These are the Gentiles who will not believe the message of those Jewish evangelists and they go into everlasting judgment.

Back to Revelation 7:9

White robes – speak of righteousness, clothed in perfection.

Palms in their hands – In those days when a battle was won, people would wave palm branches as a sign of victory.

10. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 

This is our testimony, loud and clear.

Salvation belongs to our God.

They understood what it meant to be saved.

They were straight on their doctrine.

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, 

Here the angels are going to worship.  They fell on their faces before the throne.

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. 

They said, “Amen” that means I believe it.

Notice the seven characteristics they mention.

1.      Blessing – the gracious character of God.
2.      Glory – the perfect plan of God.
3.      Wisdom – God knows everything.
4.      Thanksgiving – our response.
5.      Honor – God provides everything of real value.
6.      Power – God has all power.
7.      Might – we can appreciate His power.

Whereas the 144,000 were all Jews, here is a great multitude of saved people who are of all nations, all tribes, all peoples and tongues.

They stand before the Lamb in white robes, indicating that they too have been saved by the blood of the Lamb.  

Along with all the angels and the 24 elders, presenting the church, this great multitude praises the God of our salvation and the Lamb.

“That they are distinct from the church appears from the following considerations: 

Those were kept out of the Great Tribulation (3:10); these came out.
Those wear white raiment; these wear white robes.
Those sit on thrones round about the throne; these stand before the throne.
Those wear crowns; these are uncrowned.
Those have harps and vials; these have palms in their hands.
Those sing a new song; these cry with a loud voice.
Those are kings and priests and reign with Him; these serve Him day and night”
(J.B. Smith, A Revelation of Jesus Christ, p. 135.)

13. ¶ And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 

Here we have a question.

Who are these dressed in the white robes?

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. 

To John’s question concerning the origin of this numberless multitude, one of the elders gives this noteworthy answer.

“Came out of great tribulation” – These are those saved under the preaching of the 144,000 during the Tribulation.

As the 144,000 were sealed during the first part of the Tribulation, so too these are saved during the last part.

What a wonderful picture of mercy.  Although the Tribulation is a time of judgment, there will be a time of salvation as well.

An election out of Israel will be redeemed with an innumerable multitude of Gentiles.

In the midst of justice is found God’s merciful salvation, for through Tribulation come those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Have washed their robes – this means they have been saved.

Made them white in the blood of the Lamb – this is the way they were saved.

So some may say “Well, if multitudes are going to be saved during the Tribulation, then I’ll just wait. “

There is bad news for those who reason in this manner.  No one who hears the gospel today and rejects it will have an opportunity to be saved during the Tribulation.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 says: 
11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Whoever rejects the gospel today will become a victim of the strong delusion spread by the Antichrist during the Tribulation.

They will swallow his lie hook, line, and sinker – whether they want to or not.

As a result, they cannot believe the truth of the gospel then and will be damned because they reject Christ now.

Only those who have not known the gospel story or who have never heard it will have opportunity to believe it during the Tribulation.  These will be the multitudes saved in Chapter 7.

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. 

The next three verses are a picture of Heaven.

God’s people before Him and Christ is on the throne in the midst of them.

16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 

Earthly trials are over.

No discomfort in Heaven.

No need there.

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.

The Lamb – He is also called the shepherd.

He shall feed them, lead them.

Living fountains of waters. – Notice waters is plural meaning the water of salvation, water of the Holy Spirit and water of the Word.

God shall wipe away all tears. – No tears in Heaven.  There will be nothing to cry about.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.