The Weekend Word
A Great Multitude from Every Nation
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
- Note that in v 4 he said “I heard” and here he says “I looked”.
- This is the same crowd – the 144,000 and the crowd that cannot be counted.
- This is all believers of all times from all places. Abraham was called the father of all those who believe. Romans 4:16
- What was the prophecy that the church would be as numerous as the stars and grains of sand? Genesis 22:17
- The children of Abraham are not those by blood, but by the promise. Look at the Magi – when they arrived they said, “this is the king” – they worshiped him by faith.
- Those who were out at the river with John the Baptist, when he said “behold the lamb of God” – true Israel were those who said Amen!
- Look where the church is – before the throne, this is in the presence of God and before the Lamb.
- In ch 6 we saw the enemies of God fleeing from God. What did Adam & Eve do? They hid themselves. This is what the guilty conscience does.
- Clothed in white = purity that was received from the Lamb.
- Palm branches – our first thoughts should be to Palm Sunday & Holy Week. The hosanna of Palm Sunday was stated as an accomplished fact.
- Note how this continually recycles the history of God’s people (recapitulation).
- Where else have we seen palm branches? Exodus, the feast of tabernacles / booths – the waving of the palm branches and singing Psalm 118.
- Now in Rev7 the church celebrates her exodus through the Lord’s death as the paschal lamb – the church celebrates her deliverance, her salvation, or perhaps we should use the phrase, her forever more shelter in God’s presence.
- This is the point – the victory has been won, we are in the presence of the Lord, we have been sealed. We are safe, we can stand on that last day and we can endure the wrath of God against all unbelief and sin.
- So, the question “who can stand?” has been properly answered – those who believe in Christ. This is what leads to the proclamation we will see in verse 10.
10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
- This is the same worshipping church we saw in chapters 4&5 – just from a different perspective and John tells it from a different “camera” angle.
- Salvation does not belong to us but to God. We receive his salvation – Psalm 95:1-2. Think back to Mt Sinai and the Exodus – what was the purpose?
- To be in his presence and to worship him. Remember, this is still answering the question in Rev 6:17 during God’s wrath, who can stand? We can in God’s mercy.
- What is salvation? We can look at it in 3 parts
- Deliverance from sin, death, Satan and all evils of body and soul that go with it.
- In Rev 6&7 – you are secure, safe and protected from God’s wrath – this is the language of refuge. Please note that this is the refuge from God’s wrath versus what we see quite often, a denial of God’s wrath.
- There is a restoration – you are restored to life’s fullness and this includes a restoration of relationship – of a broken relationship between you and God and between you and everyone in this life and those in your life..
- Deliverance – Security – Restoration
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
- The church is not alone – here we have angels.’
- Now what we see here in Rev 7 is what is happening when you come to the Divine Worship Service – this is what Hebrews 12:22-24 speaks of.
- There are not 2 churches, one in heaven and one on earth – no, there is one joyful assembly. Wherever Christ is giving out his gifts with all his angels.
- What we see in Rev 7 is not some other worldly scene; it is not something out of Fantasia. It is not some story – what is revealed is true – invisible, but true.
12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
- Here we have the 7 fold worship to our God. The Greek contains the definite article before each; (1) The Blessing (2) The Glory (3) The Wisdom (4) The Thanksgiving (5) The Honor (6) The Power (7) The Might.
- This may also be called the 7 fold ascription of praise – the praise of 7 = completeness.
- When John places the definite article in front of each, what is the point? If there is to be any blessing etc, it is going to come from God – as salvation is only from God.
- Note that the praise is bookend by the Amen = which means Truth! This is very similar to when Jesus would say “Truly, truly.” He is saying Amen & Amen.
- 11&12 complete the report of worship begun in 6:9-11- beginning with the lamentation “how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
- Then we see here that the church has given her own answer Rev 7:9-12.