Revelation 7

 

 

Revelation chapter 7 is a parenthesis in the chronology of Revelation, showing God's

program of grace and salvation during the period of judgment. The winds depict

God's judgment of the earth, and the four angels are restraining agents who hold

back the judgment until God's special servants can be sealed.  The parenthesis

probably looks back to the same time period as that covered by the six seals,

so that the 144,000 must be sealed before the Tribulation judgments begin.

                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The termination of ch. 6 seems to anticipate eternity, so that to some extent it represents

an expository digression given for John’s encouragement (and ours) just prior to the breaking

of the last seal and the resulting judgments of the seven trumpets.  As a whole, the chronology

of ch. 7 seems to pick up right after the earth convulsions of the preceding chapter.  Though

it looks back to the beginning of the seven year tribulation period, it looks forward to the end

of the Great Tribulation and even to the eternal state in the new earth. 

                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

 

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.  And after these things. Μετὰ τοῦτο

Meta touto -  or, as some cursives read, μετὰ ταῦτα – meta tautaafter these things -

is generally regarded as denoting the close of the sixth  seal and the commencement

of a new subject, interjected by way of episode between the sixth and seventh seals.

But, even if not looked upon as an integral part of the revelations made under the

sixth seal, the connection is so close that the two must be regarded practically as one.

The incidents of the seventh chapter are evidently the complement of those

narrated in the closing verses of the sixth. They take up the question with

which that chapter closes, “Who is able to stand?” and afford comfort and

help to those suffering Christians who were so sorely in need of a renewed

assurance of the certainty of their final reward. It seems better, therefore,

on the whole, to consider the sixth seal to extend to the end of ch.7.

I saw four angels. Of the nature of these angels we are told nothing.

They are evidently ministers of God’s will, and the mention of them following

immediately upon the preceding description seems to connect the whole account

more closely with Matthew 24:29-30, where the angels gather the elect from the

four winds. It does not seem probable that “evil angels” are meant as

understood by some writers, since what they do is apparently done at the

command of God. Standing on the four corners of the earth. That is,

standing in the four opposite directions, and thus controlling all the earth

(compare ch.20:8; Isaiah 11:12;). The number four is the symbol of universality

and of creation (see on ch.5:9). Holding the four winds of the earth (compare

Jeremiah 49:36; Daniel 7:2; Matthew 24:31). The angels may have been the

angels of the winds,” just as in ch.14:18 an angel has power over fire, and in

ch.16:5 we read of the “angel of the waters.” The winds have been interpreted

in two ways, neither of which seems strictly correct. The first is to give a literal

meaning to the winds, and to understand literal  windstorms as part of the judgment

upon the earth. The second method interprets the winds as symbols of the judgments

of the first six seals, which are held in suspension, while the elect are sealed. The

truth probably is that the winds, like the earthquake, the rolling up of the heaven

as a scroll, etc., are part of the figurative description of the destruction of

the world at the judgment day; which destruction, like that of Sodom, is

delayed for the preservation of God’s elect. That the wind should not

blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. Πᾶν δένδρονPan dendron -

every tree, is read in a, P, l, 36, Andreas, etc. The earth, the sea, the

trees, are mentioned as things likely to be affected by the action of the

winds; the two former, of course, embracing those things situated upon

them, and the last being specially mentioned, perhaps, as a class of things

which are peculiarly liable to destruction from wind, the winds as forming part

of the general description by which God’s judgment is foreshadowed. It is

not unusual in the Bible for the wind to be mentioned in connection with

destruction and judgment (compare I Kings 19:11; Job 1:19; 21:18;

30:15; Psalm 1:4; 147:18; Isaiah 11:15; 27:8; 32:2; 41:16; Jeremiah 22:22:

Daniel 2:35; 7:2).

 

This "after" is after the happenings of the first six seals. These angels (ministering spirits) were to do

something to the whole earth (four corners of the earth).  These angels were waiting for orders from God.

Their job at this moment was to control these four winds until God said release them.  The wrath is held

back until those who must be sealed are sealed.  The seal shows ownership and security, as a king's signet

ring was used to authenticate and protect official documents. The 144,000 are all Israelites from the

twelve tribes (12 times 12,000). This number may be taken literally, or figuratively of a national

conversion. All twelve tribes (Isaiah 11:11-13; Ezekiel 37:15-28). There are no "lost tribes." In the

list of tribes, Joseph stands for Ephraim, and Dan is missing, possibly because it was the first tribe

to go into idolatry and apostasy (Judges 18). The 144,000 will apparently be converted and

commissioned to be a light to the Gentiles during the Tribulation.  Vs. 1-4  Suggest that before the

world is plunged into the plagues and disasters ushered in by the sixth seal judgment at the end of

the first quarter of the Tribulation, God will raise up an army of 144,000 Jewish evangelists to spread

across the globe and bring in a soul harvest of unimaginable proportions. Each of these "servants"

of God will receive a "SEAL" on his forehead. While we don't know exactly what this seal will be,

the text seems to suggest it will be visible. (At least to Christians) Whatever the seal is, it affords

these 144,000 Jewish witnesses "of all the tribes of the children of Israel" some kind of supernatural

protection, at least until the great soul harvest of  v.9 can be accomplished.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Winds in Bible prophecy represent war, violence, bloodshed, and strife. (Jeremiah 25:32-33)

Therefore these angels are holding back calamities that are to come upon the entire earth. The

only instances that we find in the Bible dealing with such events are Noah and the flood, which

has already passed. In Daniel 12:1 we have the time of trouble such as never was since there was

a nation, or commonly known as the time of Jacob's trouble Jeremiah 30:7, which deals with events

on a global scale around the time of close of probation and the seven last plagues. It is this that the f

our angels are holding back, the destruction that Satan will bring upon the earth, political strife etc.

(There is also a role of the people in this destruction.  See ch. 11:18 – CY – 2015)

                                                                                    (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

This verse offers a remarkable insight into one of the abilities and functions of God’s

mighty angels.  As created beings, they are not omnipotent, but they do “excel in

strength (Psalm 103:20).  In obedience to God, with great wisdom and power they

are able to comprehend and control to some degree the systems and forces of God’s

natural creation.  When John first saw these four angels, they were already engaged

in the remarkable labor of restraining the great wind systems of the earth, keeping

the winds from blowing on either land or sea.  The circulation in the atmosphere

is a mighty engine, driven by energy from the sun and from the earth’s rotation.

The tremendous powers involved in this operation become especially obvious

when they are displayed in the form of great hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes.

These winds of the earth make life possible on earth through the hydrologic cycle,

transporting waters inland from the ocean with which to water the earth.  Yet the

angels, four of them, had turned off the gigantic engine.  This situation had

apparently existed for some time before John noted and recorded it.  It presumably

ties in with the great famine which the world was experiencing under the judgment

of the third seal (ch. 6:5-6), and was part of the means by which God was

miraculously supporting the judgment called forth by His two Witnesses (ch. 11:3-6)

that there should be no rain on the earth for the first three-and-a-half years of the

tribulation period.  Without earth’s wind systems, there could be no rain.  Waters

evaporating from the oceans would simply rise up into the higher atmosphere,

eventually to spread out as a high vapor canopy around the earth.  The atmospheric

disturbances caused by the bombardment of meteorites or asteroids under the sixth

seal may have occasioned the precipitation of some of these vapors, or they may

simply have driven them farther upward.  Furthermore, the volcanic activities

accompanying the global earthquake must also have emitted vast quantities of

water vapor, spewing them into the upper atmosphere.  Both phenomena would

contribute to the reestablishment of some of the “waters above the firmament”

(Genesis 1:7) which had formed the earth’s primeval thermal vapor blanket

before the Great Flood.  In the meantime, a great calm prevailed in the lower

atmosphere of the earth.  No breezes blew on the land, no leaves rustled in the

forests, no waves broke on the shores.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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,” And I saw another angel

ascending from the east; from the rising of the sun. Again no individual angel is

particularized, though an archangel may be intended, as he has authority over the

first four. He proceeds from that quarter whence comes light; and, like the Sun of

Righteousness, he rises with healing in his wings; for his mission is to

render secure the servants of God.. That this angel was of like nature with the first

four appears probable from the words in v. 3, “till we have sealed the servants of

our God.” Having the seal of the living God. The sealing instrument with which

they seal God’s servants. Of its nature we  are told nothing beyond what is contained 

in v.3. He is specially referred to as “the living God,” since, by this sealing, life is

imparted. We have here the shorter expression, “the living God,” not, as in all other

places of the Apocalypse, “Him that liveth forever and ever” (see ch. 4:9; 5:14; 10:6;

15:7). And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels (compare ch.1:10; 5:2; 6:10)

to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea; that is, by letting loose the winds,

as shown by vs. 1 and 3. Bengel and Rinck, looking only at the immediate

context, thought that the hurt was done by preventing the winds from

blowing on the earth and cooling it in the scorching plagues which follow

(ch. 8:7). The trees are not mentioned, being included in the

earth; and this appears to indicate that the expression, “the earth, the sea,

and the trees” (vs. 1 and 3), signifies the world in general, without being

intended to represent individual parts, as the great men, etc.

 

This angel sent from God was probably an archangel, or maybe even Jesus, Himself. This angel is

entrusted with the job of taking a signet and putting God's mark upon the group that God will

protect in the midst of the wrath of God. Even though this group will be on the earth during

this terrible wrath that shall fall on the inhabitants of the earth, they will be protected, for

they are sealed with God's name on their forehead in full view.  (Remember Ezekiel 9:4 –

CY – 2015)   This angel comes from the east.  This is the same location from which the light comes.

This angel has authority over these four angels. The "sea" here could be a literal sea or as in other

places it means large groups of people.  God has said over and over throughout the Bible that there

has been a remnant of Jews who have not bowed their knee to false gods. At one point in the Old

Testament, He said that the number then was 7000. We read in the Romans 11:4 that

God told Elijah that there were 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal.  God has always had

a remnant of physical Israel.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The nature of this seal is not specified except that it was to identify certain special

servants of God.  These servants were to be protected, not only from the immediate

judgments but the later judgments of God on the earth.  (ch. 9:4)  The evidently had

a special ministry to fulfill and were to be protected from the physical judgments sent

by God, until their ministry was accomplished.  God had worked before in Egypt

this way.  (Exodus 9:6,26; 10:23; 11:7)  The Holy Spirit is called the seal of God

during the Church Age (II Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).  The Holy Spirit

is omnipresent and will be still “sealing” new believers in this way even during the

tribulation period.  This may be the meaning of the work of this angel.  The sealing

no doubt involved salvation spiritually, but clearly had a further purpose, the actual

physical protection of the sealed, preventing God’s judgments on the earth from

destroying them with the world.  (Compare Ezekiel 9:4-6) 

                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

3 “Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we

have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees.

Hurt not, by loosing the four winds, as stated on v. 2. The destruction

prepared for the guilty world is not allowed to fall until God’s elect have

been gathered in, and preserved free from danger (compare Matthew 24:31,

where immediately after the appearance of the Son of man, His elect are

gathered from the four winds). (For the signification of the earth, the sea,

and the trees, see on vs. 1 and 2.) Till we have sealed the servants of

our God in their foreheads. The angel associates himself with the first

four, as being on an equality with them in this work, although he alone is

stated to possess the seal (v. 2). Of the nature of the sealing nothing

more is indicated. The forehead is naturally mentioned as being the most

conspicuous part of man, as well as that which we are accustomed to

regard as the noblest and most vital part. The idea may be compared with

that in Ezekiel 9:4, 6. It is remarkable, too, that the word in Ezekiel

rendered “mark” is the name of the Hebrew letter tau, of which the ancient

form was a cross (compare the sign of the cross in baptism; also ch.3:12,

“I will write upon him the Name of my God... and my new Name;”

and ch.14:1, “Having his Father s Name written in their foreheads”).

“The servants of our God” is a title which especially belongs to holy men

in Israel (compare Genesis 50:17; Deuteronomy 32:36; Isaiah 61:6). The sealed

are probably these referred to by our Lord in Matthew 24:22, 24, 31, as

the elect.”

 

After the judgments of the sixth seal, there was to be a brief respite on the earth.  This would give

God’s enemies an opportunity to recover from their fears and to rationalize their experiences

(a la – like the natural man always does – II Corinthians 2:14) - CY – 2015), fixing them more firmly

than before in their wickedness.  Its main purpose was to give those who had come to believe on

God an opportunity to understand their new faith, to study His Word, and to realize the cosmic

significance of the events through which they were passing.  A great multitude of new believers

had emerged, even in the fiery furnace of affliction.  The ancient prayer of Habakkuk was being

answered:  “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make

known, in wrath remember mercy.”  (Habakkuk 3:2)  This pause would be vital to the preparation

of a very special group of God’s servants.  They were to have a key role in witnessing to the world

in the latter years of the Tribulation and then in the Millennial Age to come.  They must be

prepared spiritually and protected physically if they were to accomplish their important ministry.

They must therefore be “sealed in their foeheads.”  This unusual procedure is perhaps partly in

reference to the special instruction and understanding they must acquire in their minds (the

forehead perhaps includes a cryptic reference to the brain’s frontal lobe) before they can be

effective witnesses and leaders in the years just ahead.  They would need a concentrated

time of study in the Scriptures in understanding God’s great purpose in creation, redemption

and the current cataclysmic judgments.  They would soon begin a forthright witness for the

Lord, seeking to lead their countrymen, and indeed the world, to accept Christ before it is too

late, in the manner of Psalm 2:10-12 and Romans 1:16.  The seal may also imply an actual

physical mark on their foreheads, identifying them to all who would encounter them as God’s

special servants, and under His special protection.  This procedure would soon be blasphemously

imitated by the coming world dictator, the beast, who would require all followers “to receive a

 mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (ch. 13:16)   (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  And I heard the number of them which were sealed.

The description of the actual operation of sealing is omitted (compare Ezekiel 9.,

where it is also omitted). And there were sealed an hundred and forty

and four thousand. Omit “and there were.” This number — the square of

12 multiplied by 1000 — is typical of a large and perfect number. No one

has ever said that the number should be taken literally; and there are

evident reasons why it could not be so intended. We have, therefore, to

inquire what is its symbolical signification. The number 12 is always

typical, in the Apocalypse and elsewhere, of a complete and perfect

number. It is formed of 4 multiplied by 3. Four is generally representative

of the created universe, and 3 of the Godhead (see ch. 5:9). 4

plus 3, that is 7; and 4 multiplied by 3, that is 12, indicate a perfect number

a number which includes and embraces everything. And thus 12

multiplied by 12 denotes the most exhaustive and perfect completion. The

number 1000 is generally used to denote a large and complete, but

somewhat uncertain, number (ch.14:1; 20:2; 21:16, etc.).

Thus the square of 12 multiplied by 1000 has the signification of a large

number not definitely fixed, but nevertheless perfect; that is to say, not

omitting a single one of those who should be included in the number. We

are therefore taught that at the judgment day, before the destruction of the

world is allowed to take place, a large number, consisting of those who

have proved themselves to be God’s servants, will be preserved and set

apart; and that, although the number may be large, yet it will be perfect,

not one of those who are worthy to be selected being overlooked or

forgotten. This number subsequently is increased, being included in the

great multitude which no man could number” of v. 9, and which is

formed by the whole company of the redeemed. Of all the tribes of the

children of Israel. The Authorized Version here appears to give the

correct sense of πᾶςpas -  every. The number is made up not necessarily by

an equal number from each tribe, but by a number from the twelve tribes

viewed as a whole. As explained above, the number one thousand, though

signifying “completeness,” is not a definite number. Here, as elsewhere, it

is the spiritual Israel which is signified. In support of this view, we may

remark:

 

  • The constant use in the Apocalypse of the terms” Israel,” “Jew,”

            Jerusalem,” etc., in the spiritual sense; and it seems scarcely credible that

            the writer of the book, who throughout insists on the fulfillment in the

            Christian religion of all things Jewish, should in this place, for no apparent

            reason, deliberately make a distinction between Jew and Gentile. The terms

            are constantly used to denote the spiritual Israel, the spiritual Jerusalem,

            etc., except where allusion is made to some historical fact, as in ch. 2:14; 5:5;

            22:16; 15:3 (compare Jews, ch.2:9 and 3:9; Israel, ch.21:12; Jerusalem,

            ch. 3:12; 21:2, 10; Babylon, ch.14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21; Sodom and

            Egypt, ch.11:8; Euphrates, ch.9:14; 16:12; Sion, ch.14:1; Jezebel, ch. 2:20;

            David, ch.3:7; Gentiles, ch. 11:2).

 

  • The improbability of the omission of the tribe of Dan, if the literal Israel

            were meant.

 

  • The general testimony of ancient commentators, which is the view of

            those who appointed this passage for use in the Liturgy on All Saints’ Day.

            Some, however, have considered that the hundred and forty-four thousand

            are distinct from, and not included in, the multitude of v. 9. They believe

            the former indicates the converted from among the Jews, and the latter

            those saved from the Gentiles. But it may be remembered that in ch.14:3-4,

            the hundred and forty-four thousand redeemed from the earth and from

            among men is not confined to Jews..

 

"You Shall Seek Me and Find Me When You Search For Me with All Your Heart" - This is a promise

from God Almighty (Deuteronomy 4:29) - God has never been without a witness of His salvation on

this earth. Since all believers from this present age will have been suddenly and miraculously removed

by the event known as the Rapture, new witnesses must be raised up immediately.  Imagine what

would happen if, suddenly, in the midst of some very trying times on earth, 144,000 Israelites

instantly and miraculously became devout believers in Jesus as their promised Messiah and Savior.

This will occur much the same as Saul of Tarsus (Paul) was miraculously brought to faith on the

road to Damascus. I don't know what will cause the conversion, other than the power of the Holy Spirit.

But in multiple miraculous incidences, 144,000 Jews will be brought to faith in Jesus as the Messiah

and Son of God, and will become powerful evangelists. Picture 144,000 Hebrew Billy Grahams running

around the world and bringing this miraculous saving truth to a troubled and confused populace.

That's just what's going to happen.  God's Special Protection for the 144,000 - Since these servants

will be marked men on earth, working directly counter to the interests of the global leader, they will be

"marked" men in more than one sense of the word. They will be under constant attack by the

Antichrist's forces as well as the demonic powers unleashed upon the earth. At various times they

will suffer from hunger, exposure, ridicule, torture and imprisonment. But they all will be miraculously

preserved to continue their witness throughout the tribulation period.   At the very end, the 144,000

witnesses will stand triumphantly on Mount Zion with Jesus. Jesus refers to them as "these brothers

of mine". (Matthew 25:31-46) The way a person treats these evangelists during the Tribulation will

reflect whether he is a believer in their message or not. Keep in mind, it will be extremely perilous

to aid and abet them. They will no doubt be on the Antichrist's "most wanted list". But the lesson

 is that God's man or woman is indestructible until God is finished with him here on earth.

Just the fact that there is a specific number given tells you that these are not the believers. The

believers cannot be numbered for multitude. The Christians are not from the tribes of Israel

necessarily. Many of them have no Jewish blood whatsoever. In Galatians ch. 3, we read that

believers in Christ are Abraham's descendents because of faith, not blood.  In v. 8  (ibid) the

believers are called heathen, which people of physical Israel are never called. Abraham is not

the father of believers because of blood line, but because they (the same as Abraham) are saved

by faith. Galatians 3:7-8, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the

 children of Abraham." Galatians 3:8  "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the

heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all

nations be blessed." You see, the tribes we are about to see listed are all of the nation of Israel.

The only way this makes any sense is that this 144,000 is the remnant of physical Israel that God

has always had.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

In vs. 5-8, there seems to be no clear reason for the following repetition of each tribe as stated.

It would seem that one or two verses might have sufficed to give all necessary

information.  Nevertheless, God does nothing without reason, nor would John have

recorded this detailed enumeration unless he considered it significant.  Evidently, it

is important that everyone know, beyond any question, that every single tribe of

Israel has been preserved by God through the ages and that He also knows to

which tribe each modern Israelite belongs (as reckoned by male genealogy

throughout the generations) even though the individuals themselves do not know!

It is noteworthy that the twelve tribes of Israel are formally listed many times

in Scripture (almost thirty, in fact) and the order is different in almost every

case.  If nothing else, this tells us that, except for Judah, the order is irrelevant.

THEY ARE ALL EQUALLY IMPORTANT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD!

                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. There are

various lists of the tribes in the Old Testament, no two of which present the

same names in the same order. It does not seem probable that any special

design underlies the selection and arrangement here. First, with regard to

the selection, we observe that Dan and Ephraim are omitted, the number

being completed by inserting Levi, Joseph, and Manasseh. Although

Ephraim and Manasseh are sometimes inserted instead of Joseph and Levi,

and sometimes omitted, there seems only one example of a list in which

any one of the others is omitted, viz. that in Deuteronomy 33., where no

mention is made of Simeon. It has been thought that Simeon was purposely

passed over by Moses on account of his ill conduct (see Genesis 34.) —

conduct for which, unlike Levi, he afterwards made no sufficient

atonement. This has led many commentators to conclude that Dan finds no

place here because of the idolatrous worship of the tribe (Judges 18.). Many

ancient writers account, somewhat similarly, for the omission by supposing that, in

accordance with a very commonly received opinion, antichrist would arise

from this tribe — an opinion probably originated by a comparison of the

serpent” of Genesis 49:17 with ch.12:9; 20:2, here.   Another idea according

to an ancient Jewish tradition is that the tribe of Dan had become

extinct, and relying on the omission of this tribe in I Chronicles 4-7. —

though Hushim (ibid. ch. 7:12) may be the sons of Dan (see Genesis 46:23) —

believe that the children of Dan no longer existed, and were therefore omitted.

In the insertion of the name Manasseh (i.e. “Forgetting”) Bengel sees an intended

allusion to the omission of Dan, who is, he thinks, omitted for some mysterious reason.

Ewald believes that St. John wrote DAN, and that MAN., the abbreviated form of

Manasses,” was substituted by error; and he appeals to manuscripts 9, 13, which,

however, have “Dan” in place of “Gad.” Moreover, Irenaeus, Origen,

Arethas, have “Manasseh,” and state plainly that Dan was omitted. It is

certainly curious in connection with this conjecture that, if it were true, that

is to say, if “Dan” should be read in place of “Manasseh,” we should have a

more intelligible order of arrangement. In that case, speaking generally, the

elder sons would come first, the younger last; all the pairs of brothers are

kept together (only that, in the case of the six brothers, there is a division

into two lots); Judah naturally is placed first before Reuben, owing to the

prominent place held by him in the Apocalypse in connection with our

Lord. The order would then be:

 

  • sons of Leah.  Juda, Reuben Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zabulon
  • sons of Zilpah.  Gad, Aser
  • sons of Bilhah. Nepthalim, [Dan,]
  • sons of Rachel. Joseph, Benjamin

 

Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. As remarked

above, Judah probably precedes Reuben from the greater importance he

would possess in the mind of the writer of the Apocalypse, who continually

exalts Christ, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah (ch.5:5). Of the tribe of Gad

were sealed twelve thousand.

 

6 “Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of

Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses

were sealed twelve thousand.”  (For the insertion of Manasses and the omission

of Dan, as well as the order of the names of the tribes, see on v. 5)

 

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.”  Though Levi was excluded in the partition

of the earthly Canaan, he is included among the partakers of the heavenly

Canaan.

 

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.” Ephraim is omitted, while Manasses is

inserted. Wordsworth considers that this is on account of the rebellions

character of the tribe of Ephraim (see I Kings 12:25; Isaiah 7:9, 17;

Hosea 5., etc.). But Ephraim is sometimes identical with Joseph (compare

Psalm 78:67; Ezekiel 37:16), who here finds a place among the twelve.

 

Some scholars argue that the 144,000 evangelists aren't necessarily Jews? But a reading of vs. 4 - 8

tells us they are wrong. Those verses go on to identify the "tribes" each of the 12,000 comes from.

Most Jews alive today do not know which tribe they come from. But God does! And He purposely

selects 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes. You may notice when you read these verses  that

two tribes are missing and two others have been substituted in their places. Why?  Some scholars

believe the tribe of Dan is missing because the Jewish Antichrist, known as the False Prophet,

will be a descendant. This certainly seems to be the meaning of an ancient prophecy that Jacob

gave about the tribes of Israel in the last days: "Dan will be a serpent in the way, a venomous

viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider falls backward". (Genesis 49:17)

We can expect the Holy Spirit to move on the hearts of people at the beginning of the Tribulation

and culminate with the second coming of Christ.   Later in Revelation 14 we'll discover another

144,000. See if you think that they are the same or different. From this list of  twelve names both

Dan (who we just discussed and Ephraim are omitted. Dan was omitted because of the evil in his

life.  On the other hand, Levi, Joseph, and Manasseh help to make up the twelve.  Levi was not

listed before, because he received no land. He was priestly. God chooses whom He will.

(“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”  - Romans 11:29 – CY – 2015)

                                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)                                                                                                                  

 

Before we move on we will take a closer look at the identifying marks of the 144,000.

 

  1. In the context of ch.6, they are those that will stand at the second coming.
  2. They pass through great tribulation. (such as the seven last plagues)
  3. All 144,000 are a part of spiritual Israel not literal Israel.
  4. They are righteous, see comments on v. 14.
  5. All have hungered, thirsted, felt the effects of heat, and have wept. See comments on vs. 16-17.
  6. They sing the song of Moses which is the experience of deliverance and victory over their

        enemies.   (song = experience, see ch.5:9) Also the song of the Lamb, which is the experience

        of  living a life of the sacrificing of self. (ch. 14:3; 15:3)

  1. All of the 144,000 gain the victory over the beast, image, his mark, and the number of his

        name. (See comments on ch.15:2)
8.    All 144,000 do not taste death, for they are redeemed from among men, that is, the living

       ch.14:4; not from among the dead/grave. (Hosea 13:14)

 

So we can see that, the 144,000 are a group of righteous (as they have the character of the Father

reproduced in their lives), living in the end time, that pass through great tribulation and the seven

last plagues. They keep holy the seventh day Sabbath and live through this time of trouble, not

tasting death, and see Christ coming the second time. For they have gained the victory over their

enemies THROUGH HIM!  (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

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;” After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude,

which no man could number; after these things, I saw, and behold a great

multitude, etc. Here, as in ver. 1, a fresh phase of the vision occurs.

indicated by μετὰ ταῦτα – meta tautaafter these things,  but not, perhaps,

commencing (as so many writers think) an entirely new and disconnected

vision. It is the immediate prelude to the opening of the seventh seal (see

on ch.8:1). Revelation 6. recounts the terrors of God’s judgments on the

wicked, and especially those of the final judgment; but lest the godly should

be dismayed and ask, “Who is able to stand” (ch.6:17) on that great day? it is

revealed that the faithful are first selected and preserved. This occupies the first

eight verses of this chapter. But all is not yet quite ready for the opening of the

seventh and last seal. There is, besides those sealed on the last day, an innumerable

company with whom the former are joined in one body; and a glimpse is

afforded of their conjoint adoration and of that supreme bliss which is

entered upon, but not described, under the seventh seal. The “great

multitude which no man could number” includes, therefore, the hundred

and forty-four thousand of v. 4. They have escaped the terror of the final

judgment of the world (see v. 3), but have formerly experienced

tribulation (see v. 14). Of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and

tongues; out of every nation and [all] tribes and peoples and tongues.

The classification, as in ch.5:9, is fourfold, symbolical of

completeness in matters of creation (see on ch.5:9; 4:6, etc.).

Stood before the throne, and before the Lamb; standing before, etc.

We are carried back to the description given in ch.4:1-4 and

5:6-11. Clothed with white robes; arrayed in (Revised Version). See on

ch. 4:4 and 6:2 for white — the emblem of victory and righteousness.

And palms in their hands. Φοίνιξ, - Phoinix - palm, occurs in the

New Testament only in this place and in John 12:13. Trench states that no

symbol  of heathen origin is used in the Apocalypse; and he connects the

palm-bearing multitude with the celebration of the Jewish Feast of

Tabernacles.   Others connect the image rather with the Greek and Roman

sign of victory. In the first place, the word is used by John in John 12:13,

where doubtless it is connected with the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Secondly, the use of such an image would more naturally occur to one so familiar

with Jewish customs and ritual as the writer of the Apocalypse; and, moreover,

the idea commemorated by this feast — that of the enjoyment of rest and

plenty, the possession of the promised Canaan after toil and delay — is

peculiarly applicable to the condition of those here described. Thirdly, the

idea seems carried on in the mind of the writer, and referred to in v. 15 in

the words, “shall spread His tabernacle over them” (see Revised Version).

 

These are obviously the believers in Jesus Christ who have been washed in the blood

of the Lamb and raptured into heaven.  One comforting truth gleaned from Revelation

is that although Antichrist will have power over all peoples and languages, he will not

deceive every individual.   This verse makes it clear that the preaching of the gospel by

the 144,000 Jewish witnesses will reach a multitude that no one can number, from every

language, tribe, and people. Therefore, even Satan's control will not keep people from

receiving Christ individually.  This is in accord with the way it has been all during the

Christian dispensation. Nations and peoples have rejected Christ, BUT INDIVIDUALS

HAVE RECEIVED HIM! According to John 1:10-11, "He was in the world, and though

the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that

which was His own, but His own did not receive Him." But the text continues:

"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, H gave the right to

become children of God." (v.12)  (discoverrevelation.com)      

 

After this - After John saw the 144,000, he sees a great multitude which no man could number.

(which clearly shows that these are two separate groups, as the 144,000 are numbered) They

are from all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues, showing us that this is the redeemed of all ages.

Clothed in white robes - These stand before the throne of the Father and before the Lamb, Jesus Christ,

in white robes. White, as we have already seen to be, is the symbol of purity, righteousness, and victory.

They stand before the Father and Jesus in purity and righteousness.  Palms in their hands - Palm

branches are a symbol of rejoicing and victory. (John 12:13)  (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

These are not Israelites but Gentiles coming from every nation, tribe, people and language.

Although the text does not say so explicitly, the fact that John sees the great redeemed multitude

immediately after he sees the 144,000 Israelites sealed for special service strongly suggests a

causal connection.  We are justified in inferring that the testimony of these 144,000, supplemented

by the worldwide impact of the two witnesses of ch. 11, along with the sobering effect of the great

troubles in the world, is largely the explanation for the conversion of the great hosts of Gentiles

now at the throne.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

               

10 “And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which

sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”  And cried with a loud voice;

and they cry, etc. The present tense expresses the unceasing nature of their

occupation. Saying, Salvation to our God; that is, “The praise and honor due for

our salvation belongs to God, since He is the Cause of our salvation.” Note the

similarity to the “Hosanna” of the palm-bearing multitude of the Feast of

Tabernacles (see John 12:13; II Maccabees 10:6-7; Psalm 118:25).

Which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. To the Triune God,

and to the Lamb (see on ch. 4:2; compare ch.5:13;

12:10).

 

We cannot take credit for our salvation.  Our salvation is a free gift through grace.

Jesus deserves all the credit.  He purchased our salvation with His precious blood.

We must praise and worship Jesus for He alone deserves all the credit.  Of course,

the triune God (Elohim) sits on the throne.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

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.”  And all the angels stood round about the throne, and

about the elders and the four beasts; were standingthe four living

beings. (For a consideration of the positions here indicated, see on

ch. 5:11.) The throne in the center with the four living beings

was surrounded by the elders, having the Lamb in the midst, between the

throne and the elders. Forming a circle round the whole were the angels.

(On the elders as representing the Church, and the four living creatures as

symbolical of creation, see on ch.4:4, 6.) And fell before the throne on their

faces, and worshipped God. As in ch.5:14 and 11:16-17, praise is accompanied

by adoration and worship.

 

This is another view of the throne area.  Of course, Elohim God is on the center throne.

Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father. The four living beings are very near the throne.

The twenty-four elders, representative of all Christendom, are very near, as well. The angels

encircle the throne.  All fall before the throne of God in total adoration and worship.

                                                                                    (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The great multitude of v.9 reached the throne after the beginning of the Tribulation.  They

apparently consist of those martyred for Christ after becoming Christians during the

tribulation.   They are  now joined by angels, elders and the four beasts,

(                                                                               (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

12 “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving,

and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and

ever. Amen.” Saying, Amen. In ch. 5:14 the four living creatures

respond “Amen” to the praises uttered by the angels; here, in response to

the praise offered by the redeemed in v. 10, the angels utter “Amen,”

preparatory to joining in the universal adoration. Blessing, and glory, and

wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be

unto our God forever and ever. Amen. The blessing, etc.; that is, “all

blessing,” etc. (see on ch. 4:11). The terms of the ascription are

the same as those in ch.5:12, except that we have here

εὐχαριστίαeucharistia - thanksgiving, substituted for πλοῦτοςploutos

 riches (see on ch. 5:12). The sevenfold character of the ascription of praise

denotes its universal and all-embracing character (see on ch.1:4; 5:1).

 

Blessing - This is a sevenfold doxology as in ch. 5:12. (see comment there and on v. 13)

Here again, as in (ibid. vs. 8-14), is a vision of the vindication of God and Christ. Upon the

testimony of the saved, the hosts of heaven are again reminded that GOD IS WISE AND

RIGHTEOUS!   They worship Him with blessing, glory, thanksgiving and honor.

                                                                                                (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

The multitude, the angels, the elders and beasts, all break into a sevenfold doxology

beginning and ending with “Amen.” Each of the ascribed attributes is, in the

original, preceded by the definite article- the blessing, the glory….. – thus

emphasizing that God is deserving of “all blessing and glory that exists.

He is the CREATOR OF ALL, SAVIOR OF ALL, and therefore, DESERVING

OF ALL!  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

13 “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these

which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?”

And one of the elders answered. The elder speaks because

he is typical of the Church, concerning which the exposition which he

delivers is to be made (see on ch. 4:4). Where an explanation is

made of visions which refer to the Church, the active part is taken by the

elders, while angels introduce visions of which the signification is

unexplained (compare ch. 5:2; here, vs.1-2; 8.; 10:1, 3, etc.; and 5:5).

Saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes?

and whence came they? The elder questions that he may teach.

 

This elder is certainly representative of the church.  He must already know who these

are.  He probably asks this question to teach those who do not understand who these

are. Those which were "arrayed in white robes" cannot be the same people as those

sealed in their forehead.  Those sealed in their forehead would have no reason to be

sealed, if they would be immediately transported to heaven. There are no winds of

terror in  heaven. There would be no purpose in putting the mark on them for heaven.

This is certainly another group. They have been taken out of the great tribulation on

the earth. The seven years are broken up into two 3 1/2 year periods. The first 3 1/2

years are called tribulation, and the last 3 1/2 years are known as the Great Tribulation.

Christians will know tribulation, but will be saved from the wrath to come.

I Thessalonians 1:10 "And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead,

[even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."  I believe this rapture, or catching

away of the Church, occurs before these seven years.  We read in Daniel 12:1-4 "And at that

time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:

and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that

same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found

written in the book." "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,

 some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt." "And they that be

wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness

as the stars for ever and ever."  "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book,

[even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

You see there is no question that this we read in Daniel is the same time as what we have been

reading in Revelation. In Daniel 12:9, "And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are

closed up and sealed till the time of the end."  Here is why some people believe that the

rapture will take place at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. If we read the rest of chapter 12,

v.12 says: Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and

 thirty days. (1335) This time I believe is at the end of the time of the Great Tribulation, when

the earth is renewed and the sheep and the goats are separated. Meaning after the last 42 months,

(thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. - 1335 days) an additional time (75 days) is

added for this process.During that period of time the Julian calendar was used (only 30 days per

month) so the 1260 days is correct.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

What are these...arrayed in white robes...whence came they - This questioned posed to John is to

bring his attention to a special group. It can not be a reference to the great multitude as John knew

exactly where they had come from and who they were. Thus this must be referring to the 144,000,

as the list following will clearly show. John had seen the 144,000, in their mortal state, receiving the

seal of God and passing through great tribulation; but as they now stand among the redeemed throng,

the transition is so great, and the condition in which they now appear so different, that he does not

recognize them.  (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

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.”

And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest; and I say unto him,

My lord (Revised Version). The expression denotes the utmost respect and

reverence, which afterwards induce the seer to worship the angel (see

ch.19:10; 22:8). The structure of this part of the vision recalls

Ezekiel 37:3, “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?

And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest (compare Zechariah 4:2, 4-5;

John 12:21). And he said to me, These are they which came out of

great tribulation; which come out of the great tribulation (Revised

Version). The repeated article is especially emphatic. The question arises

What is “the great tribulation” referred to? Probably all the tribulation

which has been passed through by the redeemed, all that which pertained to

the life though which they have passed. This tribulation is now completed

and past, and is therefore referred to as “the great tribulation.” “These are

they which have passed through the great tribulation of their life on earth.”

This is the view taken by Alford. Dusterdieck refers the expression to the

last great trial of the saints before the coming of the Lord. Some point to

particular persecutions as the reference intended, and others consider that

the last great trial to be expected under the seventh seal” is meant. And

have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the

Lamb; and they washed, etc. That is, during their past life, while they

were experiencing the great tribulation, they washed their robes (compare

ch. 3:4-5, where those who have “not defiled their garments”

and those “that overcome” are to be clothed in white). Those that

overcome and are undefiled, therefore, are those who have washed

themselves in the blood of the Lamb, THROUGH WHICH ONLY

THEIR VICTORY IS POSSIBLE OR EFFECTIVE!

 

You see, he definitely already knew who they were. This was just emphasizing a

lesson to be learned. This white is such a bright white that, I believe, it even glistens

as the Shekinah Glory of God.  Here again, white stands for righteousness. We

are righteous because we have taken on Jesus' righteousness. Notice also, that they

were not saved from tribulation, but in it.  Don't forget, every one of those new

believers will have been left behind after the Rapture precisely because he or she

had rejected God's offer of salvation up to that point.  The white robes portray a

standing of righteousness, and the multitude praises God especially for their salvation.

Note the sevenfold praise of v. 12.  The redeemed Gentiles of this vision are either

saints who will be martyred during the tribulation, or believers who will survive the

Tribulation and enter the Millennium in their natural bodies, or both. The temple

may be either the earthly, millennial temple, or the throne and presence of God in

heaven. Earthly sorrows will be over (ch.21:3-4). Christ will give them spiritual

sustenance. (v. 17)  There will be absolutely no crying or sorrow in the presence

of God, for He will have wiped away all tears from their eyes.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Came out of great tribulation - All Christians must through much tribulation enter the

kingdom of God Acts 14:22. But with the 144,000 it is in a greater sense. They pass through

the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. (Daniel 12:1) A time of great

mental anguish of the time of Jacobs trouble. (Jeremiah 30:4-7) They stand through the

outpouring of unmingled wrath from God (in the form of the seven last plagues), upon the

wicked, without a mediator. No other group has passed through a time as such.

White robes - We know that this is given to those that are overcomers.  (ch. 3:5, 18)

Each of them have overcome sin by the grace of God, they have obtained the victory.

They would not violate one of the commandments of God, which is expressed by having

the Father's name/character in their foreheads. (ch.14:1) Each of them have had their life

washed in the blood of Christ.The life of all flesh is in the blood” Leviticus 17:11, 14,

and thus they have washed their lives in the life of Christ and it is Christ's life that is

being revealed in them, a life filled with righteousness!  (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

The people in question were translated to the throne in the heavens ἐκ - ekout of –

the tribulation – the great one” – (literal rendering)  It is this Great Tribulation from

which the multitude in heaven will come.  It is remarkable that the period of greatest

suffering and persecution the world will ever see is to be also the time of the greatest

wave of genuine conversions the world will ever see.  A strong word of caution and

exhortation is in order.  This redeemed multitude will come from among those who

were still unsaved at the time of the rapture, when living believers were taken out of

the world to be with the Lord.   But they will almost certainly not include those who

had heard and knowingly rejected the gospel before the rapture.  This seems to be

the teaching of II Thessalonians 2:10-12, which deals with the same period:  “because

they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause

God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all

might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

There are perhaps two billion people in the world today who have never heard and

understood enough of the gospel either to receive it or reject it.  It is among these

that the great numbers of tribulation converts will be gleaned.  The testimony of the

144,000 sealed Israelites as well as the Bibles and volumes of true Christian

literature left in the world by the raptured believer, along with the great calamities

occurring in the world, will be used to lead these people to saving faith in Christ!

Many, perhaps most, will lose their lives before the end of the Great Tribulation

and their souls will be arrayed in white robes with the others at the heavenly

altar.  (ch. 6:9-10)  Those who survive will live on into the Millennial Period –

more on this in ch. 20)  Those who are saved during the Tribulation will be

saved exactly the same way as those before the Tribulation, and for that

matter, in every age, which is by THE MERITORIOUS BLOOD OF

JESUS CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD!  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

Therefore are they before the throne of God. That is, because they have been

washed, and have their robes made white, they are before the throne (compare

Ephesians 5:25-27, “Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He

might sanctify and cleanse it,… that He might present it to Himself a glorious

Church, not having spot, or wrinkle,” etc.). And serve Him day and night in His

 temple. As described in ch.4:8,11; 5:8-14; 7:12; 11:15, etc. Temple (ναός naos)

is here, as in ch. 3:12, the “dwelling place,” the shrine, of God, i.e. heaven. Thus

are the redeemed made “pillars” in His temple  (ch.3:12). And He that sitteth on

the throne shall dwell among them; shall spread His tabernacle over them

(Revised Version). The same verb that occurs in John 1:14; ch.12:12; 13:6; 21:3.

The allusion (not an uncommon one with John)  is to the SHECHINAH which

overshadowed the mercy seat. God’s presence  among them, co-dwelling with

them, is THE HAPPINESS OF HIS PEOPLE! (compare John 17:24,

“Father, I will that they also be with me,” etc., I John 3:2,  We shall be like

Him; for we shall see Him as He is “).

 

We, Christians, are before the throne because we decided to follow Jesus, to accept

His salvation, to be washed in His blood, and to believe in the resurrection. We are

to be His servants and to dwell with Him forever. It speaks of "day and night" here,

but there is no night in heaven with Jesus. We are in the presence of the Light, and

there is just one eternal day with Him. We read in Ephesians 5:27 "That He might

present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such

thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."  Ch.21:3 speaks of this very

thing, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God

[is] with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and

God Himself shall be with them, [and be] their God." How much more wonderful

could it be?  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Therefore they are before the throne - Because of the victory gained through Christ against sin,

the experience of going through the great tribulation, they are very near to God. It is their keenest

desire to serve Him day and night in His temple.  (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

Martyrs have a special reward called “the crown of life” (ch. 2:10; James 1:12)

In addition these tribulation martyrs will have the special privilege of dwelling in

the very presence of God during the coming millennial age, serving Him

day and night in His temple.”  This promise looks beyond their immediate

circumstances as souls under the altar but does not look on to their eternal

state.  In the new earth there will be “no temple therein” and “no night there”

(ch. 21:22,25).  Consequently, this particular promise will be fulfilled during

the millennium.  At that time there will indeed be a great temple in Jerusalem,

where the Lord will dwell (Ezekiel 43:1-7).  All the glorified saints will serve

as a kingdom of priests with Christ during His thousand-year reign (ch. 20:4-6),

but these tribulation saints (“beheaded for the witness of Jesus”) will have this

special place and service of blessing.    (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

16 “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the

sun light on them, nor any heat.”  shall the sun strike upon them (Revised Version).

The passage is evidently founded upon Isaiah 49:10 (compare  the punishment of the

fourth vial, ch.16:8).

 

If we read in Isaiah 49:10 we will read, "They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall

the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by

the springs of water shall He guide them."  Both of these remind us of the 23rd Psalm. 

Jesus is the Shepherd. He sees to the needs of His flock. Jesus is the Light, and there

will be no need for the sun or the moon. There will be a presence of Light.

                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Hunger, thirst - Obviously they have suffered hunger and thirsting. This is a reference to their

trials in the last days. Even though their bread and water will be sure, (Isaiah 33:16) or enough

for sustenance, when all the pastures and fruitful places are dried up (Joel 1:18-20) and the rivers

and fountains turned to blood, (ch.16:4-9) there will be time when the righteous will be brought

occasionally into extreme decrees of hunger and thirst. Once in heaven THEY SHALL NEVER

HUNGER NOR THIRST AGAIN!   Sun light on them, nor any heat - When power is given unto

the sun to scorch men with fire ch.16:8-9, the righteous will be shielded from its burning rays.

But they will not have their sensibilities so deadened as to not feel any unpleasantness from the

terrific heat. But in the heavenly Canaan they will be able to appreciate the promise of God that

the sun will not light on them.  (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

During the most intense persecutions of the tribulation period, it will be illegal for believers to

buy food or drink (ch. 13:17), and they will be slain whenever they can be apprehended

(ibid. v.15, ch. 20:4).  No doubt many of these will have to flee into wilderness areas,

living off the land as best they can, suffering from heat and hunger and thirst (compare ch.

11:14; Matthew 24:16; Isaiah 26:20-21), most of them eventually dying under these sufferings. 

It is conceivable that these are3 the ones specifically mentioned by the Lord in connection with

His coming judgment of the nations at the end of the tribulation period.  (Matthew 25:34-40) 

                                                                        (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.” For the Lamb which is in the

midst of the throne shall feed them; shall be their Shepherd. Compare the

description of the position of the Lamb given in ch.5:6. The position here

indicated is the same as that there described. The Lamb is between the

throne and those surrounding it, towards the middle of the throne. Christ is

set forth in the character of Shepherd, as in John 10:11 and 21:16. And

shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and shall guide them

unto fountains of waters of life (Revised Version). “Of life” is an addition

to the passage as found in Isaiah (compare John 7:37-39, where the

expression is used of the Holy Spirit). And God shall wipe away all tears

from their eyes. A reference to the tribulation of v. 14.

 

In the midst of the throne – Jesus, the Lamb, is portrayed as being closest of all to the throne of God.

Shall feed them - Greek ποιμανεῖ  - poimanei - shall be shepherding - (compare ch.2:27).  Although

it is usually the lamb that is shepherded, here the Lamb is revealed as the true shepherd. (compare

John 10:11) The thought of the present passage is probably drawn from Isaiah 40:11.

Shall lead them – In ch.14:4 we find that they follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Both

statements show to us THE CLOSE COMPANIONSHIP THAT THEY HAVE WITH CHRIST!

Unto living fountains of waters - They have experienced hunger but they shall be fed, thirst but

this shall be quenched. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and

thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures Psalms 36:8. They shall be abundantly

satisfied in all things.  Wipe away all tears - He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord

GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away

 from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it]. (Isaiah 25:6-9). Death has been swallowed

up and all tears will cease.  (www.revelationbibleprophecy.org)

 

This living fountain, opened on Calvary, will flow eternally, from the Lamb Himself, in the midst

of the throne.  Christ Himself is THE WATER OF LIFE and will satisfy the thirst of the soul

FOREVER!  Even from the millennial temple will emerge a great flowing river of fresh waters

(Ezekiel 47:1-5)  (I highly recommend Ezekiel 47 – Spurgeon Sermon – Waters to Swim In –

this website – CY – 2015)  Not only will He remove all thirst but also all hunger and all tears.  

The slain Lamb becomes the Great Shepherd, who will “feed His flock” (Isaiah 40:11).  He

will wipe away all tears from their eyes (ch. 21:4).  Christians have shed many tears throughout

the ages, especially in times of persecution, seeing their possessions stolen away, watching their

loved ones put to death, experiencing the scornful rejection of those they desired to lead to Christ

and salvation.  Finally, in the new earth, all tears will be wiped away by GOD HIMSELF, and the

former things will “not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17-19) IN THE JOY OF

CHRIST’S PRESENCE!  These promises apply to all believers, as is evident from their repetition

and amplification in the last chapter of Revelation.  There is no doubt that they will be peculiarly

precious and encouraging to those new, but suffering believers who will be reading them in their

wilderness retreats and hidden cellars during the terrible days of The Great Tribulation THAT

MAY SOON BE COMING ON THE EARTH! 

 

 

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