Who are they, and where have they come from? Rev. 7:9-17

I touched on Revelation 7:9 in the last post, but because of a recent comment, in which the person told me, there will be NO Christians in the tribulation, I chose to pursue that turn in the road as it relates to martyred saints that we see in this passage.

If I did not make myself clear, as I attempted to discuss a couple of fallacies about the seven-year period we call the tribulation – otherwise known as God’s wrath, let me try to do so now.

Simply put, the person making the comment would be right, if he changed his assertion to this, there will be no Christians entering the seven-year period. Said this way it does NOT exclude anyone from coming to Jesus during this time period.

How do I know this?

Revelation 7:9 NASB “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;”

At this point in chronological time, we are within the seven-years of God’s wrath, but we have only made it as far as the sixth seal. There is NOTHING that tells us that the events God is pouring out upon the earth, are sequenced to the Gregorian calendar. So there might be a few months of death followed by a few months of relative peace. Any thought embraced along this line is pure conjecture, as there is NOTHING in scripture to back it up such assertions.

Look at this statement,

behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.

How is this different from John’s first look at the martyred saints?

In Revelation chapter six, where we first see martyred saints, there is NO mention of a quantity; and yet in Revelation 7:9, it specifically tells us that it is an uncountable number.

Some might say, prove it! Alright.

Revelation 7:10-17 NASB

(10) and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (11) And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

(12,) “saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

The story takes a strange twist here as an elder asks John, as though he should know how to define these people, and we see this dialogue in verse 13.

(13.) Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”

I am not surprised that John doesn’t seem to know, but it is possible that he should have because he has seen people dressed like, before God, on a previous occasion; and you can see this in Revelation 6:9-11.

I have had people ask questions of me, much like this elder did. It is obvious that they already have an answer in their head and are merely trying to humiliate you or make themselves look better, in most cases. (I do not think that is what this elder is doing.)

End of page one.

After John tells him, “My lord, you know,” the elder goes on to answer the question after this counter by John.

(14.) I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The elder explains, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation.”

Verse 15 could easily read, they are here, before the throne, to serve God.

(15.) “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.

I have to admit, there was a time when I believed that we would be forced to spend eternity bowing before God, worshiping Him. Of course, my understanding and attitude have changed, as has my love and longing for the Lord, to the point that I often see myself as doing nothing else.

(16.) “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;

Let’s go back to my opening and how I asked, if Christians would go into the seven-years of wrath. I talked about, how many who think they are Christians, but are not, will go into the time of wrath. I can guarantee that many of these will have lived well prior to the horrors that God will pour out upon the earth.

I believe that we are seeing the precursor to that time period now.

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. (Matthew 24:7-8 NASB)

That was a long way of saying, many would not understand the idea of hunger or thirst, while others have been living in a highly deprived state leading up to the seven-years.

If it was the first example, why would God say, they will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore, as we see in verse 16?

You see, verse 16 makes no sense unless something has drastically changed. Most people have never given any thought to what happens after the catching away of the church. In the previous post I pointed out how that the Holy Spirit had opened my eyes to Revelation 6:9. Here is what we read.

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; (Revelation 6:9 NASB)

What do you feel when you read, “I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain…”? Most feel nothing, as they cannot relate, while some always see these poor souls as people from the African nations. In the verse above it uses the word slain; that could happen in so many ways. The word slain is the Greek word sphazō and means to slaughter, butcher, or maim. This now has an aggressive brutality attached to it. Now, ask yourselves, what if it comes to your neighborhood? There is nothing that says you will escape the violence that is coming. What the Bible does tell us, is that the violence will be so great that if God does not stop it, no one will survive.

If you were wondering why all these people might be before the throne, worshiping God, maybe it is because, they, after all those years of living for themselves, they now know love like they have never known it before.

(17.) for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Time is short and it is the time for you to make a decision. Will you bow to Jesus, the one who gave His life for you? Or, will you prostrate yourselves to Allah, deny Christ, worship the beast and his image, and take his mark. When you do that you will have committed yourself to Satan and a lifetime of torment, with him, in hell.

If I were you, I would choose life, a life in Christ.

This entry was posted in bible study, Jesus, Revelation, Saints, Thoughts on scripture and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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