Two groups are specified in this chapter
Israel - 1 - 8
Numbered 144,000 Virgin Men
Sealed in Earth
Gentiles - 9 - 17
Standing in Heaven
Revelation 7:1-9 - This section focuses on Israel/Left Behind Israelites who become believers during the Great Tribulation and among those selected virgin men are sealed by an angel to serve God by reaching out other Israelites during Great Tribulation.
1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."
How many angels John is seeing?
Four Angels standing at the four corners of the earth.
One more Angel ascending from the east.
What are these four angels doing?
Four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
They were ready to harm the earth, the sea, or the trees.
What are these Four Corners of the earth mean?
Job 1:19 - and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"
Isaiah 11:12 - He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.
Ezekiel 7:2 - "And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: 'An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.
Revelation 20:8 - and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
How the four corners described in above verses?
These four corners covers the entire earth.
(David Guzik) The phrase four corners of the earth is an ancient (and sometimes modern) equivalent to the idea of “the four points of the compass.” The idea is that these angels effect the entire earth.
Jeremiah 49:36 - Against Elam I will bring the four winds From the four quarters of heaven, And scatter them toward all those winds; There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.
What are these Four Winds means?
Zechariah 2:6 - "Up, up! Flee from the land of the north," says the Lord; "for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven," says the Lord.
Matthew 24:31 - And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
How is the wind described in above verses? Allover the places, or all.
Jeremiah 49:36 - Against Elam I will bring the four winds From the four quarters of heaven, And scatter them toward all those winds; There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.
Daniel 7:2 - Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea.
Revelations 6:13 - And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
Matthew 8:26,27 - 23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" 26 But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"
Matthew 14:30,32 - 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." 28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."
How is the wind described in above verses?
Wind that destroys.
(David Guzik) These winds are a destructive force of God’s judgment, as they often are in the Old Testament.
Hosea 13:15 gives an example: Though he is fruitful among his brethren, and east wind shall come; the wind of the Lord shall come from the wilderness. Then his spring will become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up.
The four winds of the earth may refer back to the four horsemen of Revelation 6:1-8, after the pattern of Zechariah 6:1-8. In that passage, four chariots with horses of the same colors of Revelation 6:1-8 go out to all the earth, and are called the four spirits of heaven. Spirits in that passage translates the Hebrew word ruach, which can also be translated winds.
Spirit in Greek called Pneuma referred in the NT 385 times. Of these 21 times this has been translated not as a spirit one such place this is translated as wind in
John 3:8 - The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"
Here in the Revelation 7:1 The Four Winds: Wind in Greek is anemos derived from the Greek word aēr (the air). The meaning for the wind here is
wind, a violent agitation and stream of air
a very strong tempestuous wind
the four principal or cardinal winds, hence the four corners of heaven
Types of air needed for tornadoes to form
Tornadoes form under a certain set of weather conditions where three different types of air come together in a certain way. Near the ground lies a layer of warm and humid air along with strong south winds. Colder air along with strong west or southwest winds line the upper atmosphere. Temperature and moisture differences between the surface and the upper levels create instability. A third layer, of very warm dry air, forms between the warm and moist air at low levels and the cool dry air above. The warm layer acts as a cap and allows the atmosphere to warm further, making the air even more unstable.
When the storm system above moves east it begins to lift the various layers. Through this lifting process the cap is removed, setting the stage for explosive thunderstorm development as strong updrafts develop. Interactions between the updraft and the surrounding winds at storm level and near the surface may cause the updraft to begin rotating and a tornado is born.
What are these four angels (standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth) going to do?
These angels going to harm the earth, the sea, or the trees by these wind storm, cyclone/hurricane, and/or tornado. Not only that this destruction going to be beyond our imagination because there also hail, fire from heaven as given in...
Revelation 8:7-12 - 7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. 8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. 12 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.
What is the fifth angel doing?
Fifth angel ascending from the east
And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees"
What is this Fifth angel has and going to do?
having the seal of the living God.
Going to seal the servants of our God.
Where they are sealing?
On their foreheads.
What do this seal contains?
This seal has the power to protect those servants of God from:
Harm that is going to happen to the whole earth.
Protection from beast/Satan who is trying to chase and persecute them.
Rev 12:1-6 - 1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, , that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days
This seal containing God’s name in some manner
Revelation 14:1 - Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads.
For more details read What is His Father's name? topic in Revelation 14:1 notes.
(David Guzik) In Ezekiel 9, a similar protective seal is given to the righteous before Jerusalem is judged. The seal is the Hebrew letter tau (“t,” as in the shape of a small cross).
Whom this angel is sealing?
The servants of our God
(David Guzik) We are not told what exactly their service is, but the 144,000 are sealed for a specific and unique purpose.
In What way this passage helps us in our personal life?
Believers are protected from God's wrath.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 - For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 1:10 - and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Romans 1:18 - 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
Romans 5:9 - Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
John 3:36 - He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
Exodus 9:4,6 - 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, 'Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 For if you refuse to let them go, and still hold them, 3 behold, the hand of the Lord will be on your cattle in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen, and on the sheep--a very severe pestilence. 4 And the Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel." ' " 5 Then the Lord appointed a set time, saying, "Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land." 6 So the Lord did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died.
Exodus 10:21-23 - 21 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt." 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings
Exodus 12:13 - Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Ezekiel 9:4,6 - 2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer's inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it." 5 To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple.
1 Kings 19:18 - Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."
God may provide us hedge of protection in our health and wealth (prosperity in all area or physical and material blessing).
God may also allow us to go through the difficulties/trials but He will hold our hands or carry us through this difficult times.
Psalms 23:4 - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Rev 12:6 - Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days
No Mater what we go through physically/materially but Spiritually we are sealed by His Holy Spirit. This guarantees or protects our Salvation.
Eph 1:13,14 - 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
2 Corinthians 5:5 - 1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
NLT: 1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down -- when we die and leave these bodies -- we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. 4 Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. 6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 That is why we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
(David Guzik) However, the general idea of being sealed is not limited to them.
Jesus was sealed.
John 6:27 - Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
We are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our eventual total redemption.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 - 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
This sealing of the Holy Spirit belongs to every believer when they are saved:
Ephesians 1:13 - In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
The sealing of the Holy Spirit is meant to be both a comfort and a challenge to us. We are comforted in that it assures us that we belong to Him. We are challenged by it to depart from all evil and identify ourselves with the One we belong to:
2 Timothy 2:19 - Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
Ephesians 4:30 - And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Meditate Ephesians 4:20-30 and apply in your life
If they have not sealed by this seal of God then they will be sealed by mark of the beast. Same way if we are not sealed by His Holy Spirit then we are not saved but belong to ruler of this world ie Satan.
Revelations 13:17 - and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelations 14:11 - And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
Revelations 16:2 - So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image
Revelations 19:20 - Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: 5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; 6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; 7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; 8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
Paul’s letter to Romans Chapter 9th through 11th lays the foundation for this passage.
Romans 9:1-5 - Israel's Rejection of Christ
Romans 9:6-13 - Israel's Rejection and God's Purpose
Romans 9:14-29 - Israel's Rejection and God's Justice
Romans 9:30-33 - Present Condition of Israel (Read: Romans 9:30-33)
Romans 10:1-13 - Israel Need the Gospel (Read: Romans 10:1-4, 9-11, 13)
Romans 10:14-21 - Israel Rejects the Gospel (Read: Romans 10:14-16)
Romans 11:1-10 - Israel's Rejection Not Total (Read: Romans 11:1-7)
Romans 11:11-36 - Israel's Rejection Not Final (Read: Romans 11:20,23-26,30-327)
Romans 9 - Has God Rejected Israel?
Paul's heart for Israel.
Chapter 9 brings a slight shift in focus to the Book of Romans.
(1-2) Paul’s sorrow.
(3-5) The source of Paul’s sorrow.
Why Israel is in its present condition: Israel missed the Messiah because it was according to God's sovereign plan.
(6-9) Has God failed with His plan regarding Israel? No; God has not failed His children of promise.
(10-13) Another example of the fact that promise is more important than natural relation: Jacob and Esau.
(14-16) Does God’s choosing one over another make God unrighteous?(17-18) The example of Pharaoh.
(19-21) Does the sovereign right of God to choose relieve man of responsibility?
(22-24) Doesn’t God have the right to glorify Himself as He sees fit?
(25-26) The prophet Hosea (in Hosea 2:23 and 1:10) declares God’s right to choose, calling those who previously were not called His people.
(27-29) Isaiah (in Isaiah 10:23 and 1:9) declares God’s right to choose a remnant among Israel for salvation.
Why God's Sovereign plan was like this?
God foreknew that Israel will reject Jesus as Savior Messiah/Christ.
His foreknowledge is amazing.
God choose Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,... by His Grace not by their deeds.
Gen 6:8 - But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Eph 2:8-9 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
He choose/elect each believer based on His foreknowledge. Because He foreknew whether a person will believe in Him or not when He reveals to any person.
1 Peter 1:2 - 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
Romans 4:1-9 - 1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin." 9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.
So Paul explains this that Israel has been failed to believe. Or Paul points out the Israel's lack of faith in God. If they would have really believed or had faith in God then they would have believed that Jesus is Messiah/Christ.
The reason why Israel is in its present condition: Israel missed the Messiah because they refuse to come by faith.
(30-31) Analyzing the present situation of Israel and the Gentiles according to a human perspective.
(32-33) Paul emphasizes the reason why Israel seems cast off from God’s goodness and righteousness: Because they did not seek it by faith.
Romans 10 - Israel’s Present Rejection of God
Israel’s rejection of the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.
(1-3) Israel’s refusal to submit to the righteousness of God.
(4-8) The contrast between God’s righteousness and our attempts at righteousness.
(9-13) How God’s righteousness is gained by faith.
(14-15) The necessity of the preaching of the gospel.
The prophets foretold this rejection of the gospel by Israel.
(16-17) Isaiah foretold Israel’s rejection of the gospel in Isaiah 53:10.
(18) Psalm 19:4 testifies to the fact that the word has gone forth, and Israel has heard it, making them more accountable.
(19) Deuteronomy 32:21 told Israel that God would use other nations to provoke them to jealousy, because the other nations were brought closer to God than Israel. Yet they ignored this word also, making them more accountable.
(20) Isaiah 65:1 also told Israel that God would be found by those who did not seek Him; this prediction of the gospel going out to the Gentiles and its fulfillment again makes Israel more accountable.
(21) Isaiah 65:2 tells God’s assessment of disobedient, Messiah-rejecting Israel: they are a disobedient and contrary people, and all the more so because of their great responsibility to God.
Romans 11 - The Restoration of Israel
Israel and the remnant of grace.
(1a) Has God cast away (rejected) His people Israel?
(1b) Evidence that God has not cast away His people: Paul himself.
(2-5) The principle of a remnant.
(6-10) God’s right to choose a remnant according to grace.
God’s plan in saving only a remnant at the present time.
(11a) Does Israel’s stumbling as predicted by Psalm 69 mean that they have fallen away permanently?
(11b-14) No, God had a specific purpose to fulfill in allowing Israel to stumble - so that salvation would come to the Gentiles.
(15-21) To the Gentiles: yes, Jewish rejection of Jesus was made into a blessing for you; but consider how great a blessing their acceptance of Jesus will be.
(22-24) Application of God’s purpose in Israel’s rejection that the Gentiles might be reached.
God’s plan for Israel includes their eventual restoration.
(25-27) The promise that all Israel will be saved.
(28-29) God’s love and calling for Israel still endures.
(30-32) Paul cautions the Gentile Christians to remember where they came from and where God has promised to take the Jewish people.
(33-36) Praise to God for His plan and the progress of the plan.
God's Mercy Triumphs over Judgment:
James 2:10, 13 - 8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
During this 7 year period Gospel has been preached even openly in Jerusalem by people, two witness sent by God, and angels
Matthew 24:14 - And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Revelations 11:3-13 - 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. 7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. 11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Revelations 14:6-7 - 6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people-- 7 saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
Who are these 144,000?
They are of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
These are left behind Israel/Jewish male virgin (celibacy for God's service like Jesus Christ) believers.
Rev 14:4 - These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
How many tribes of Israel has been referred here? or How this 144,000 has been divided among these Israel tribes?
The 144,000 are divided among the 12 tribes of Israel.
There are 12,000 from each tribe.
Does this number 144,000 means something special?
Number 12 in bible means perfection or completion.
Since it is equivalent to 12 square so this number perfectly completes/covers all left behind Israelite believers (male Israelite virgins + rest of the other Israelite believers) during this 7 year Great Tribulation time.
Rom 11:26 - 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
Or these 144,000 (may be accurate number) are male Israelite virgins who are sealed to serve in the midst of other left behind Israelites.
How do left behind Israel believers know that they are from this tribe?
DNA test may show from which part of the continent they are from but it is not possible to find from which tribe.
God gathers back all His people back to Israel now. So God only knows their tribal ancestry details or Israelites whereabouts.
10 of these tribes were taken by the Assyrians.
Jer 32:37 (Jeremiah purchase a land and then...) - 36 "Now therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, 'It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: 37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. 38 They shall be My people, and I will be their God; 39 then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.
Isaiah 11:12 - He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.
Jer 30:10,11 - 7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it. 8 'For it shall come to pass in that day,' Says the Lord of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. 9 But they shall serve the Lord their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them. 10 'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the Lord, 'Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with you,' says the Lord, 'to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.'
Jer 31: 8 - 7 For thus says the Lord: "Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, 'O Lord, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!' 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there.
Matt 19:28 - 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." 27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" 28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Acts 26:7 - 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? 9 Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
James 1:1 - James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
Compare this passage with Genesis 49 where Jacob/Israel bless his 12 sons which are 12 tribes of Israel.
Which tribe was missing?
Dan tribe was missing. This can be classified by following two possibilities:
Dan tribe is not part of this sealing process may be because of the following reason.
(David Guzik) Dan was the tribe which introduced idolatry into the nation of Israel (Genesis 49:17; Judges 18:30).
Judges 18:30 (Dan tribe Settle in Laish) - 30 Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. 31 So they set up for themselves Micah's carved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.
(David Guzik) Jeroboam set up one of his idolatrous golden calves in Dan
1 Kings 12:26-30 -26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah." 28 Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!" 29 And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.
(David Guzik) Later Dan became a center of idol worship in Israel
Amos 8:14 - 11 "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord God, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord. 12 They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, But shall not find it. 13 "In that day the fair virgins And strong young men Shall faint from thirst. 14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria, Who say, 'As your god lives, O Dan!' And, 'As the way of Beersheba lives!' They shall fall and never rise again."
(David Guzik) Some think it is because Dan is the tribe of the Antichrist, based on Daniel 11:37 and Jeremiah 8:16.
Daniel 11:37 - 36 "Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women (either homosexual or celibacy for God's service like Jesus Christ), nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
Genesis 49:17 (Jacob's Blessing before his death) - 16 "Dan shall judge his people As one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, A viper by the path, That bites the horse's heels So that its rider shall fall backward. 18 I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!
Jeremiah 8:16 - 13 "I will surely consume them," says the Lord. "No grapes shall be on the vine, Nor figs on the fig tree, And the leaf shall fade; And the things I have given them shall pass away from them." ' " 14 "Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, And let us enter the fortified cities, And let us be silent there. For the Lord our God has put us to silence And given us water of gall to drink, Because we have sinned against the Lord. 15 "We looked for peace, but no good came; And for a time of health, and there was trouble! 16 The snorting of His (enemies) horses was heard from Dan. The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones; For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it, The city and those who dwell in it." 17 "For behold, I will send serpents among you, Vipers which cannot be charmed, And they shall bite you," says the Lord. 18 I would comfort myself in sorrow; My heart is faint in me. 19 Listen! The voice, The cry of the daughter of my people From a far country: "Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her King in her?" "Why have they provoked Me to anger With their carved images-- With foreign idols?"
Dan tribe may be completely wiped out by Assyrians long time before.
Dan tribe may be repented and saved already and taken-up/Raptured with Church.
Or Dan tribe may be saved in future through these sealed servants of God.
Dan was left out but Dan is the first tribe listed in Ezekiel’s millennial roll call of the tribes (Ezekiel 48). This is a remarkable sign of God’s redemption.
Ezekiel 48:1 - 1 "Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border along the road to Hethlon at the entrance of Hamath, to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus northward, in the direction of Hamath, there shall be one section for Dan from its east to its west side; 2 by the border of Dan, from the east side to the west, one section for Asher; 3 by the border of Asher, from the east side to the west, one section for Naphtali; 4 by the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, one section for Manasseh; 5 by the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, one section for Ephraim;
Jacob/Israel blessed that Dan shall judge Israelites
Genesis 49:16 (Jacob's Blessing before his death) - 16 "Dan shall judge his people As one of the tribes of Israel.
The tribe of Dan did judge his people. They supplied one of the most prominent of the Judges, Samson
Judges 13:2,24 - 2 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children. 3 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son..... 24 So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.
They may also judge his people in future.
Who replaces Dan's place?
Manasseh (Joseph's son) was added in that place.
Joseph name is added instead of his son Ephraim's tribe.
What about Levi or Why Levi is included in this list?
Levi share the inheritance with other tribes because they are priest but here their tribe is part of this list. During millennium reign they will inherit the land.
Num 18:20-24 - 20 Then the Lord said to Aaron: "You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel. 21 "Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 22 Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. 23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, 'Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.' "
Joshua 13:14 - Only to the tribe of Levi he had given no inheritance; the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as He said to them.
Num 1:47 - 47 But the Levites were not numbered among them by their fathers' tribe; 48 for the Lord had spoken to Moses, saying: 49 "Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor take a census of them among the children of Israel; 50 but you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony, over all its furnishings, and over all things that belong to it; they shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend to it and camp around the tabernacle.
Num 3:6-12 - 6 "Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. 7 And they shall attend to his needs and the needs of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of meeting, to do the work of the tabernacle. 8 Also they shall attend to all the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting, and to the needs of the children of Israel, to do the work of the tabernacle. 9 And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are given entirely to him from among the children of Israel. 10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall attend to their priesthood; but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death." 11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 "Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be Mine,
Here they are in the list means that they are part of this salvation process and so they will inherit land in the Millennium reign of Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel l8:13,14 - 10 To these--to the priests--the holy district shall belong: on the north twenty-five thousand cubits in length, on the west ten thousand in width, on the east ten thousand in width, and on the south twenty-five thousand in length. The sanctuary of the Lord shall be in the center. 11 It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12 And this district of land that is set apart shall be to them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites. 13 "Opposite the border of the priests, the Levites shall have an area twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width; its entire length shall be twenty-five thousand and its width ten thousand. 14 And they shall not sell or exchange any of it; they may not alienate this best part of the land, for it is holy to the Lord.
We do not know exactly why Dan missed in this list and why Joseph name listed in place of Ephraim. Many suggestions are available but...
Deut 29:29 - The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Many wrong interpretations are available out there:
Jehovah Witness claims that they are these 144,000. When they reached this count they are really confused and come up with new theology to fit their interpretation.
Some spiritualize this and says that this group is the church
or church is spiritually replaces Israelites.
Do not be confused with people's interpretation:
As it is said in this passage and Romans 9,10,11 chapters these 144,000 are Israelite virgin men sealed to serve God.
These are not Gentile Believers or Church.
Church will be taken up or Raptured to heaven (Rev 4:1) before this incident happens and
Left behind believers (Gentiles and may be few Israel) who gone through the Great Tribulation will be in heaven standing in front of throne of God and serving God (Rev 7:9-17).
Left Behind people (Gentiles and may be few Israel) who became believers during the Great Tribulation are standing in Heaven
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
From where John is looking?
John still is in Heaven.
Rev 4:1 - After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
What John is looking? and How many people are standing?
a great multitude which no one could number
Where are they standing?
Standing before the throne and before the Lamb
What are they holding?
palm branches in their hands
Is there any significance about the palm branches?
Holding the palm branches and sharing their thanks whole heartedly by Praising God.
Thanks giving to God in Feast of Tabernacles: Lev 23:33-44
Lev 23:40 - 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
Nehemiah 8:15 - 14 And they found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, "Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written." 16 Then the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, or in their courtyards or the courts of the house of God, and in the open square of the Water Gate and in the open square of the Gate of Ephraim. 17 So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness. 18 Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.
Also represents the celebration of victory and Praising Jesus:
John 12:13 - 12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! (save now) 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!"
What are they wearing and what are they having?
clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands
Is there any significance about their white robes?
Righteous acts of the saints and Righteousness of God received by Faith:
Revelation 19:8 - 6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Revelation 19:14 - 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Priestly Service: (Spurgeon) These robes remind us not only of the covering righteousness of Jesus, but also of priestly service. “They are arrayed for holy service, and arrayed at once, for they wear white robes fitted for their priestly service.”
Revelation 7:15 - Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
Revelation 4:4 - Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
Mark 16:5 - And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
Luke 9:29 - As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.
How/When/Where do they get these white robes?
In Earth: God is giving God's Righteousness as a garment (Robe of Righteousness) to us when we are born again or saved or received by Faith and Blood of Jesus.
Is 61:10-11 - 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Zec 3:1-5 - 1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. 4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." 5 And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by. 6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, 7 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here.
Rom 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
2 Cor 5:21 - 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Revelation 7:14 - And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 6:11 - Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Revelations 3:4 - You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
In Earth again while we come back with Jesus 2nd coming:
This is the reason they are .... (What are they doing?)
They whole heartedly - crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
Are you taken this Salvation for Granted and living on your own?
Are you feel unsecure so you try to keep up the laws of God and doing good works to earn the Salvation?
How we need to live?
Jesus demonstrated this while He is in Earth. God sent Him for specific purpose that was planed before the foundation of the world.
John 6:38 - For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Luke 22:42 - saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
John 18:11 - So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"
John 19:30 - So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
1 Peter 1:19,20 - 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
God Saved each one of us for a unique purpose:
Eph 2:10 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Rom 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
God expects us to complete the work that He has given or assigned:
Rev 3:1-2 - 1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect (NIV:Complete) before God.
Jesus is also helping us in completing this work given to us:
Phil 1:6 - being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
We need to follow the foot steps of Jesus by doing the will (unique plan) given by the Father.
Heb 12:1-2a - 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
God may not give us blue print but He prepare us to that goal one day at a time so do the will of the Father by doing the service whatever He laid in front of us by turning our eyes upon Jesus.
When we keep looking unto Jesus face instead of hand then He will order our paths.
Ps 37:23 - 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
Prov 3:5-7 - 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
Response to the multitudes Song:
11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
What is the response to the multitudes song?
11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
In this Thanksgiving is the new thing compared to similar worship happened at Rev 4:11 and Rev 5:12,13.
What it means that Thanksgiving belongs or be to our God?
He is worthy to receive thanks. He is thankable.
It is thanksgiving to God as in
2 Cor 9:11 - 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
What is their posture?
fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God
For more details read What Posture we need to use to worship? topic in Revelation 4 chapter.
Details about the Multitudes:
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" 14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
What is the elder's question to John?
"Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?"
What is John's response to the elder?
"Sir, you know."
John's previous experience in Revelations Chapter 5 helped hear it seams:
Rev 5:5 - 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
What is the elders response?
So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Where did they come from?
"These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation,
What is the other titles used in place of Great Tribulation?
Great Tribulation - Matt 24:20, Rev 2:22.
God's Wrath - Rev 14:10.
Lamb's Wrath - Rev 6:16.
The Anti-Christ Rule for last 7 year before Jesus' 2nd coming, rule and reign this earth - Dan 9:27.
The day of vengeance of our God - Is 61:2b.
The day of the Lord - Joe 1:15.
Jacob's Trouble - Jer 30:7.
What is Great Tribulation?
It is the last 7 year period God's wrath poured out on this earth before Jesus' 2nd coming, rule and reign this earth. For more details read What is the day of the Lord means? topic in Rev 1:10 notes.
Who are these multitudes?
washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
These are gone through Great Tribulation/God's Wrath/Lamb's Wrath partly and become believers. Or these trials in Great Tribulation brought these to God's Kingdom. So these are generally called Tribulation Saints.
(David Guzik) The presence of so many tribulation saints is a powerful statement of God’s grace and mercy. Even in this time of judgment and wrath on the earth, many are saved.
Rev 7:16-17 - 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Rev 6:6 - And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
Rev 6:12-13 - 12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
(Spurgeon) “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Not one of them became white through his tears of repentance, not one through the shedding of the blood of bulls or of goats. They all wanted a vicarious sacrifice, and for none of them was any sacrifice effectual, except the death of Jesus Christ the Lord. They washed their robes nowhere but in the blood of the Lamb.”
(David Guzik) Washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb: Those saved in the great tribulation are saved just like everybody else, by the blood of the Lamb. Even if they are martyred, their martyrdom does not save them. Only the work of Jesus can cleanse and save.
(David Guzik) White by blood is an interesting phrase; we don’t think of things being made white by blood! But the blood of Jesus cleanses us: Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
Are these Tribulation Saints are gentiles?
Yes, these are gentiles left behind believers and also remnant Israel left behind believers who were not sealed as evangelist for future service. Same way Church means gentiles and remnant Israel believers before Great Tribulation.
Rev 7:9 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands
Are these Tribulation Saints are part of this sealing process?
As we read only some selected Israelites are sealed on their forehead to serve God but here majority in these are gentiles.
Nowhere in Revelation says that these Tribulation Saints are part of the sealing process.
(David Guzik) Because the great multitude are mentioned right after the 144,000, many and thought that they are - at least in part - due to the work of those 144,000 servants of God. Perhaps the 144,000 are evangelists who help reap this huge harvest for the kingdom during the great tribulation.
Are these multitude are Church? or Is the Church raptured (taken up) to heaven only now after the Great Tribulation starts?
Some believe that Church will go through initial part of Great Tribulation and will be raptured during middle of the Great Tribulation. This view is called Mid-Trib Rapture.
Similar to this some believe Church will be here in earth till 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and will be raptured at the end of Great Tribulation as described in end of Rev 14. This view is called Post-Trib Rapture.
When we go through entire Bible there are compelling references are there that shows that the Church will be raptured before the Great Tribulation starts. This view is call Pre-Trib Rapture and it is most Biblical view. Here are the reasons that proves that ...
Believers before Great Tribulation are called Church because God promised them that God did not appoint/allow them to go through the Great Tribulations/God's Wrath/Lamb's Wrath:
Revelation 2:22 - 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
Revelation 3:10 - Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
We can also see the clear separation between Church Age and Anti Christ rule/God's Wrath/Great Tribulation, Jesus 2nd coming (future) in the book of Revelation:
Outline of Revelation shows the clear separation of Church Age (present) and Anti Christ rule/God's Wrath/Great Tribulation, Jesus 2nd coming (future).
Rev 1:19 - Write the things which you have seen (Rev 1), and the things which are (Rev 2-3), and the things which will take place after this (Rev 4-22).
Also the word Church is not specified after the Rev 3rd Chapter, compare Rev 2:7, 2:10, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6, 3:13, 3:22 with Rev 13:9. It is not mistake but fact prophecy given to us by Jesus.
Rev 3:22 - He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Rev 13:9 - If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
Church will be taken up (raptured) to heaven before the Anti Christ rule/God's Wrath/Great Tribulation starts:
1 Thes 4:16-17 - 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Rev 4:1 - After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
Matt 24:36-44 - 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
2 Thes 2:1-12 - 1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Church will sing new song in heaven before the Anti Christ rule/God's Wrath/Great Tribulation starts:
Read following passage from KJV or NKJV which uses very old Greek manuscript. For more details read Why they are personalizing (v9 redeemed us v10 made us) this
salvation song? in Rev 5:9,10 notes.
NKJV: Rev 5:9-10 - 9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."
KJV: Rev 5:9-10 - 9 And they sung a new song, saying , Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain , and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Church will rest in Heaven with the Father and Jesus Christ and watch all that happens in earth:
Rev 6:10-11 - 9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Is 26:20-21 - 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.
All the saints before (OT) and during church age, and tribulation saints (after church age) will come with Jesus 2nd coming with white robs:
Jude 14-15 - 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
How do they come to heaven?
Are these died due to Great Tribulation/Lamb's/God's wrath or died as normal death?
Accepted Christ due to trials during Great Tribulation and died later on.
Or Gone through Great Tribulation and accepted Jesus as Savior last minute just before their death.
Since these appear suddenly as a big group in heaven so dying all at same time is less likely and so this raises the following question.
Are these martyrs or raptured (taken) by God during the middle of the Great Tribulations?
(David Guzik) They have had trouble on the earth during the great tribulation. In the ancient Greek grammar of this passage, “the” is emphatic. This was a time of great tribulation for this multitude. This has led many to believe that most, if not all, of these are martyrs from the great tribulation.
These may be martyrs who were killed by the Anti Christ and their parties and supporters/followers. But this happens after first three and a half years of last 7 year Great Tribulation period just before 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Beast has given authority to kill all who doesn't have the mark on their foreheads or right hand in the 2nd half of 7 year Great Tribulation period during the Anti Christ rule.
Rev 13:7 - 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:15 - 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
These are most probably raptured (taken up) by God as a 2nd group (1st group is Church raptured before Great Tribulation) to heaven. Because in heaven we see martyrs are given a place under the altar in Rev 6:9 but these tribulation saints are not under the altar but standing and sever before the throne of God in Rev 7:9,15.
Rev 6:9 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
Rev 7:9 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Rev 7:15 - Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
Praise God for their Reward/Responsibilities in Heaven:
15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
What do they do? What is their rewards/out come they enjoy in Heaven?
Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve Him day and night in His temple.
(Walvoord) And serve Him day and night: In heaven, the redeemed serve God. We don’t know exactly how, but they do. “Heaven is not only a place of rest from earthly toil but also a place of privileged service”
Church Age saints are privileged to sit with Jesus on His throne.
Rev 3:21 - To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Church Age saints are privileged to get served by Jesus.
Luke 12:37 - 35 "Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and d not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
NLT: Luke 12:37 - 35 "Be dressed for service and well prepared, 36 as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. 37 There will be special favor for those who are ready and waiting for his return. I tell you, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! 38 He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, there will be special favor for his servants who are ready! 39 "Know this: A homeowner who knew exactly when a burglar was coming would not permit the house to be broken into. 40 You must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected."
And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
(David Guzik) He who sits on the throne will dwell among them: In heaven, God will dwell with His people. This is the ultimate fulfillment of King David’s great desire in
Psalm 27:4 - One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
(Spurgeon) These saints knew affliction on earth, and they triumphed over it. But it wasn’t their affliction that saved them. It was Jesus and their relationship of faith with Him. “Affliction of itself does not sanctify anybody, but the reverse. I believe in sanctified afflictions, but not in sanctifying afflictions.”
This promise fulfilled here and forever.
Is 49:10 - They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them; For He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
Rev 21:4 - And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
What would Jesus do to them?
for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them
In Ezekiel 34 God points the problem the Israelites faced due to bad shepherd and so, God promised them that He will send the good Shepherd Jesus Christ who takes care of everyone. It started fulfilling in 1st coming of Jesus and will completely fulfills in 2nd coming of Jesus during Millennium reign.
Ezekiel 34:1-31 - 23 I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them--My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.
(David Guzik) The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them: In heaven, the redeemed will know the loving care and nurture of their Savior. He will protect them from every affliction (they shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat). He will also provide for their every need (lead them to living fountains of waters).
and lead them to living fountains of waters.
Why Jesus leads them to living fountains of water? and Who really provides this?
Jesus leads us to God and God is the source for this who provides to us.
Rev 21:6 - 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
Finally we obtain this fully and experience this always in our ultimate destiny heaven:
Rev 22:1-2 - 1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
What would God do to them?
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
(David Guzik) We also understand from this that every tear will only be wiped away in heaven. On this earth, we have our share of pain and tears to endure and bring to God. He shows His love now with sweet consolation and strength for our tears; but one day - in heaven, not now - He will wipe them away forever.
(Walvoord) This passage does not have the idea that in heaven, we will weep over our wasted life or unconfessed sin, but God will still wipe those tears away. That idea may be a powerful, guilt-inducing motivator, but it has nothing to do with the meaning of this verse. “The point is that the grief and tears of the past, speaking of their trials in the tribulation, will be over when the get to heaven . . . God will wipe away all tears resulting from their suffering on earth.”
(David Guzik) Many wonder, “How can there be no sorrow in heaven if we have relatives or loved ones who perish in hell? Won’t we be sorry for them?”
Spurgeon answers well: “Now, how is this? If you will tell me, I shall be glad, for I cannot tell you. I do not believe that there will be one atom less tenderness, that there will be one fraction less of amiability, and love, and sympathy - I believe there will be more - but that they will be in some way so refined and purified, that while compassion for suffering is there, detestation of sin shall be there to balance it, and a state of complete equilibrium shall be attained. Perfect acquiescence in the divine will is probably the secret of it; but it is not my business to guess; I do not know what handkerchief the Lord will use, but I know that he will wipe all tears away from their faces, and these tears among them.”
Do believers in Christ now will experience these here?
Standing before the throne of God:
Do we have access to the throne of God?
Rom 5:2 - 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God
Heb 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Timothy 2:5 - For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
Hebrews 8:6 - But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Hebrews 9:15 - And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 12:24 - to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
In Heaven: Church Age saints are privileged to sit with Jesus on His throne.
Serve Him day and night:
Do we need to serve God now or is this optional?
Matt 6:33 - 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matt 28:19 - 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
In Heaven: Church Age saints are privileged to get served by Jesus.
God dwell among them:
Is God dwell among us?
Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Isaiah 8:8 - He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; And the stretching out of his wings Will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
David desired but it started fulfilling after Jesus 1st coming but the ultimately fulfilled in heaven:
Neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat:
Does Jesus promised to meet all our needs?
Yes, when we seek His kingdom first.
Jesus will shepherd them:
Is Jesus shepherd and guide believers here in earth?
Yes, Jesus is our good shepherd. He will shepherd us.
(Spurgeon) Doesn’t Jesus shepherd us now? Isn’t He close to us and caring for us now? Yes, but in heaven it will be so much more. “The true Christian life, when we live near to God, is the rough draft of the life of full communion above. We have seen the artist make with his pencil, or with his charcoal, a bare outline of his picture. It is nothing more, but still one could guess what the finished picture will be from the sketch before you.”
Psalms 23:1 - A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
John 10:11 - 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
John 10:27-30 - 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are one."
John 14:26 - But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 16:13-15 - 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Gal 55:24-26 - 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
NLT: Gal 55:24-26 - 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.
Jesus lead them to living fountains of waters:
Do believers now will experience the rivers of living water here in this earth?
Rev 22:17 - And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
John 7:37-39 - 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Do all believers really experience this?
Eph 5:18-21 - 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes:
Does God wipes all our tears?
Phil 4:6-7 - 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Acts 9:31 - Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Romans 15:4-5 - For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
2 Cor 1:3-4 - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
What is the difference between experiencing here an heaven?
Here we experience partly but our ultimate experience will be in heaven.
1 Cor 13:12 - 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Think for a moment prayerfully about what service you will get from God in heaven?
Whatever service/reward we get from God in heaven but one thing remains in all service is to be a servant to others. So train yourself by serving God:
Mat 20:25-27 - 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
James 4:6-10 - 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble (Greek:tapeinos-Strongs:5011)." 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
1 Peter 5:5-6 - 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble (Greek:tapeinos-Strongs:5011)." 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Jesus demonstrated this while he is in this earth and set an example to us:
Mat 11:29 - 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (KJV: meek, Greek:praos, Strongs:4235 only once here in NT its root and primary Greek word is praÿs, Strongs: 4239) and lowly (Greek:tapeinos-Strongs:5011) in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Meek - Greek: praÿs, Strongs: 4239 - Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).
Matt 5:5 - Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
Matt 21:5 - 1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." 4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly (KJV: meek), and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.' " 6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.
1 Peter 3:4 - 1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-- 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle (KJV: meek) and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Phil 2:5-11 - 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Church is a group of believers in Jesus Christ will be raptured (taken up) before the Great Tribulation starts and these multitudes in heaven are taken out of Great Tribulation so they are called (Great) Tribulation Saints. They were
accepted by God but rejected by the world.
joyful so they sang praises to God and the Lamb.
not judged by God but they were given Godly service in heaven.