A Systematic Expository Study on the book of REVELATION

                      Revelation 7:9-17
 The previous chapter reveals the beginning of the opening of the seals and ushers in the period of the
 great Tribulation. The first six seals are opened in chapter six and the Antichrist deceives the world
 with false peace. Thereafter there will be wars, famine, diseases and pestilences, deaths of many
 people, earthquakes and great consternation on earth. The time of the great Tribulation will be a period
 of Satan’s full fury, a time of unleashing demons’ power over the whole world and a time when the
 restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is taken away from the world. The period of the great Tribulation
 will be a time when sin and evil run loose, absolutely unchecked, a time when the hellish reign of the
 terrorizing dictator, the Antichrist will grip the whole world. And God’s unrestrained fury will engulf the
 whole world during that same period. As the whole universe will be collapsing, billions of people will die
 in that day of God’s wrath.
 Will God remember mercy during that period of wrath? Will anyone be saved when those catastrophes
 are devastating the world? Will anyone be able to repent during that period of the reign of terror?
 Surprisingly, perhaps, unexpectedly, multitudes will turn to the Lord in repentance and saving faith.
 Many will not repent as we read: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues
 yet REPENTED NOT of the works of their hands, ...neither repented they of their murders, nor
 of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” “And men were scorched with
 great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they
 repented not to give Him glory” (Revelation 9:20,21; 16:9).
 Yet there are those who will repent, believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord and be saved. We met a
 group in our previous study in Revelation 7:1-8 and we are meeting another group in this study of
 Revelation 7:9-17. The redeemed group of 144,000 in the first part of chapter seven is completely
 Jewish. This great multitude of saved people in Revelation 7:9-17, during the great Tribulation
 comprise of people from “all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues... who came out of
 great Tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”
 (Revelation 7:9,14).

 Revelation 7:9-12; Psalms 22:27; 98:2,3; Isaiah 52:10; 60:1-4; 26:9; Revelation 14:6,7; 15:2-4; 20:4-6;
 4:8-11; Revelation 5:11-13; 19:1,6,8.

 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number.” John saw this vision
 of multitudes of martyred Tribulation saints in heaven after he had seen the vision of the sealed
 144,000 Jews on earth. This uncountable multitude “stood before the throne and before the Lamb”
 in heaven. This is a different group of redeemed people. The first group of saved, sealed people is
 from twelve tribes in Israel, while these in the second group are from “all nations, and kindreds, and
 people, and tongues.” The multitude gathers as victors, with palms (symbols of triumph) in their
 hands, before the throne of God in heaven. It was a great surprise to John to see such a great
 multitude of blood-washed, redeemed, saved souls coming out of the great Tribulation. His surprise is
 indicated by the words, “and lo, a great multitude...” Though vast numbers of people will die in sin
 and rebellion during the period of the great Tribulation, immense hosts of people will be saved, will
 endure intense persecution and will be martyred during that same period. The storms and tempests,
 the woes and the sorrows, the persecutions and the martyrdom of the great Tribulation will not claim all
 the souls of men for the Antichrist. Multitudes will hear the Gospel through the sealed “servants of
 God” and get saved. They will stand before God and cry with a loud voice saying, “salvation to our
 God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” They will render praise to God for their
 salvation, their deliverance from sin and grace to endure and overcome. And the angels will rejoice
 with these triumphant saints and join them to offer praise and glory to God.

Revelation 7:13,14; 6:9-11; 13:7-10; 17:6; 20:4; Daniel 7:21,22; 8:24; Revelation 12:10,11;
1 Peter 1:18,19; 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:22; 13:12,20,21.

Who are these that make up the great multitude standing before the throne of God in heaven? This is
not the redeemed, raptured Church because the Church had been in the presence of God in heaven,
represented by the twenty-four elders since chapter four. Who are these? The question came to John.
“What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him,
Sir, thou knowest.” John’s reply meant that he who had asked the question was better informed than
himself. Then the revelation came in the answer of the elder, “These are they which came out of
great Tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. ”
While on earth during the great Tribulation, they had been washed in the blood of the Lamb shed for
sinners, they had been made holy by the blood of the Lamb and had resisted the rule of the Antichrist.
They resisted unto blood; “they loved not their lives unto the death” and so they were “faithful unto
death,” they became martyrs, triumphant Tribulation saints and passed through the gate of martyrdom
into heaven.

Revelation 7:15-17; 22:3-5; 21:3,4; 14:13; Hebrews 4:9; Job 3:17-19; Isaiah 49:10; 35:10; 60:18-20;
25;8; Romans 8:18; Daniel 12:1-3.

“Therefore are they before the throne of God...” Therefore means “because of this,” “on this
account” or “on this basis.” What qualifies them to enter heaven and be comforted in the presence
of God? “They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore...” (Revelation 7:14,15). They are in heaven because their sin-stained garments have been
washed white in the blood of the Lamb. They have repented of all their sins and believed in the atoning
Lamb of God. Their entrance into heaven is on the basis of the completed sacrifice and atonement of
Christ. Washed clean and pure they stand without blemish in the presence of the Almighty God
Himself. And they “serve Him day and night in His temple.” They serve Him continually; they offer
constant and uninterrupted service. On earth their service to God was suspended and interrupted by
the return of night and the necessity of rest; in heaven, there will be no weariness and the service of
God will be continued forever.
“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor
any heat.” Coming out of the great Tribulation, they suffered the pain of hunger and the pangs of thirst
during the famine, the wars and the inability to buy food for refusing to take the mark of the beast.
Many of them suffered sun-stroke with the excessive heat of the sun during the opening of the sixth
seal (Revelation 6:12-14) but now, in heaven, the redeemed are forever protected from what they
suffered on earth. “For the Lamb shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of
waters.” Their happiness in heaven will be full and as fresh and ever flowing, like never-drying
streams. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” With their trials and tribulation over,
they pass from the world of weeping and the vale of tears to the presence of God and there will be no
more grief or sorrow for ever.

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