|The white-robed tribulation
Verses 9-17 (NASB)
After these things I looked,
These things probably are the six seals and the 144,000 Jews being
and behold, a great multitude, which no one
The focus has changed from earth back to heaven because the THRONE and
LAMB are here. The great multitude are Christians saved during the
Tribulation (verse 14).
The expression "all peoples" is used in
John is given a glimpse of the fulfillment of Jesus words,
Matthew 24:14. All the world hears it
the end comes; the Great Commission is completed (Acts
- every nation and
- all tribes (Jewish?)
- the THRONE
(fullness of God) and before
- the LAMB (the
CLOTHED in white robes
(special reward) and
branches were in their hands;
"Standing before" vs. "fallen down before" ... denotes a victory which
is confirmed by the palm branches in their hands. These are ones who
truly overcame the beast, antichrist, and martyrdom, and followed
Christ even to death. They can hold their heads high in VICTORY!
This is a celebration like the Feast of Tabernacles,
Leviticus 23:39-41. It is a joyful
(in heaven) especially after the 6 seals were opened (on earth). What
'great multitude' must have endured (on earth) to get here (in heaven)!
Truly, "O DEATH, where is your victory?" (1
and they cry out with a LOUD voice, saying,
No timidity in this group! After all they DIED for having accepted Christ
and the LAMB are real
"SALVATION (like HOSANNA!
"Saved" is the verb form of "Salvation" that believers use to describe:
This salvation is associated with the final act of God's power and
Salvation is the resolution of GOOD vs. EVIL. The "day of salvation",
Isaiah 49:8-13, is again quoted by
- to OUR GOD who sits on the THRONE
- to the LAMB."
The LOUD voice cry by the THRONE and for the LAMB
expression in the previous verse.
And all the angels were standing around the
the elders and the four living creatures;
John repaints the picture he saw in chapter
. Here he adds angels to the picture and shows that they are STANDING
around the edges of the picture along with the GREAT MULTITUDE in verse 9 .
and they fell on their faces before the
The angels are so overcome by the shout of SALVATION by the multitude
that they fall down and worship GOD. Doing this, they acknowledge the
GREAT ACT (Luke
mankind , and
which they will
experience because angels have no need for redemption.
There is a difference between this verse and chapter 4. Here the
angels fall down; in chapter 4 the twenty four elders and the four
living creatures fall down.
This is audible speaking it, not mentally thinking it. This indicates
that worship prayers should be spoken and not just thought.
The AMENS bracket the sevenfold doxology. The angels agree entirely
with the multitude.
- the blessing
- the glory
- the wisdom
- the thanksgiving
((2) riches) and
- the honor
- the power
- the might
(4) be to our God forever
In the original version, each attribute is preceded by
shown here. This gives the sense of all or complete. For example, "the
The () denotes the order of these attributes as found in Revelation 5:12 . There
may be some
to the order; however, this is not clear. This listing goes from praise
words (blessing and glory) to strength words (power and might). The
here is GOD (be to our GOD) while in
5:12 , the recipient is Jesus (Worthy is the LAMB).
And one of the ELDERS answered, saying to me,
This is the second time an ELDER has spoken to John; the first is found
in Revelation 5:5 . In
the beginning of
it was angels passing on information to John. But here close in to the
it is an elder communicating with him. Also recall that in verse 11 , the angels are
the LAMB and Him who sits on the THRONE.
"These who are clothed in the WHITE ROBES,
The ELDER must have seen a puzzled look on John's face because he
ANSWERED John. John doesn't recognize this multitude because he will
have come to heaven before they did. If they came out of the
tribulation as the next verse
not Old Testament saints
or Church/Grace Age/preRapture saints.
- who are they, and
- from where have they come?
It is important to God to have these martyrs truly identified. Their
ROBES (Revelation 7:9 ; Revelation
6:11 ; Revelation 3:5)
away. To John, it is a special sight.
And I said to him, "My lord
John acknowledges that the elder since his death has had access to the
knowledge of heaven. John doesn't have this privilege yet.
And he said to me, "These are the ones
There is no doubt about it, though, a multitude of believers come out
of the GREAT TRIBULATION period!
- who come out of the GREAT
This is the tribulation, Christ refers to in
Matthew 24:21 , where 'the then'
back to Matthew
24:15 when we see
"abomination of desolation standing in the holy place"
Caution: the Rapture appears to be an absolute
That is, if you rejected Christ before the rapture, you will be
deceived forever. (2
believe you have a chance during the tribulation (2
Peter 3:9-10), however, since
verse comes after verse 9
There will be plenty of Bibles, Christian
sealed Israelites, and this Internet study remaining during the great
- they have washed their robes and
made them white in
blood of the Lamb.
The white robes are the "righteous acts of the saints.", Revelation 19:8 . That this
believers cannot be questioned because of the washing of their robes.
To Sardis, Revelation
garments, that is, the unrighteous acts, keep most from walking with
Christ. The walking is fellowship, and we can only do that if there is
no sin. Sin is cleansed by His blood, 1
John 1:7 .
1:18 refers to this
process. Sins are equated to scarlet, yet they will be made white as
"For this reason, they are before the THRONE
What is the reason? In the previous verse, these are the ones who came
out of the GREAT TRIBULATION (includes saved Gentile martyrs and the
144,000 sealed Jews, for certain) and washed their robes in the blood
of the Lamb.
and they serve HIM day and night in HIS
They show a singleness of purpose: TO
`Day and night' means continually like the four living
in Revelation 4:8 .
That there is day and
at this time of John's vision indicates that the first heaven (Genesis
1:6-8) and the first earth have
passed away yet, Revelation 21:1
Symbolicly, this matches with Christ's prayer that we are in Him and He
in us, John
17:20-26 , and His
teaching that as
a vine we abide in unity,
. Then we, as believers, being His temple right now,
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 , also should
this same singleness of purpose:
The result of SERVING GOD:
- Protection - this verse
- - next verse
- Guidance - verse
- Comfort - verse
These are all things they did not have during the GREAT TRIBULATION!
Luke 9:23-27 is fulfilled.
He who sits on THE THRONE shall spread his
This is so typical GOD - He did the same with His
the Old Testament:
40:34-38 - The
people journied with God's protective cloud.
Kings 8:5-13 - The ark is
brought into the new temple Solomon build. The cloud of God, the glory
God, is overpowering.
10:1-4-5, 18-19 -
Vision of heavenly THRONE with cherubim (4 living creatures) and the
glory of God cloud again.
Later on Jesus himself defined the TRUE LIGHT in
John 1:9-14 . And we get to partake of
NEVER AGAIN will these people go without the protection of God!
These tribulation martyrs must have gone hungry often and had their
water supply cut off. Either they were living in very isolated or
barren places, or they may not have been able to buy any food, Revelation 13:17 . What a
way to die!
- "They shall hunger no more, neither
neither shall the sun beat down on them nor
If Revelation is not necessarily a chronological book, then Revelation 16:8 -9
, the 4th bowl, may have affected them too. This scorching was not
selective. The believers who were there experienced it too. To some of
these, not to be thirsty or have the sun scorching down on them was
This verse fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah
Incidently, if one reads Matthew
25:31-40 as the 1000 year reign, there will be righteous
helped "one of these brothers of Mine' who are rewarded even to the
least one of them.
Lastly, real satisfaction comes after being really hungry or thirsty
after righteousness, Matthew
5:6 . How hungry or thirsty are you after righteousness?
your "satisfaction" isn't complete. Recall where this part of the
vision is taking place. It is before the Lamb who gives you and me that
perfect thirst quenching drink, John
for the LAMB in the center of the THRONE
shall be their
Here are all these horribly persecuted, physically hungry and thirsty
saints seeing Christ the LAMB Himself being their SHEPHERD; this isn't
assigned to some group of angels; it wasn't part of the 4 living
creatures jobs; it is the LAMB Himself to be their SHEPHERD. So what
does a shepherd do?
shall guide them to
springs of the WATER OF LIFE;
When these saints were hiding from AntiChrist authorities, they were on
their own - intuition was their guide along with a complete faith in
Christ. Now their faith yielded results. The SHEPHERD takes
responsibility to GUIDE them.
The water of life is a whole topic unto itself. We find
These saints must have gone through horrible events: torture, seeing
loved ones killed, compassion of others to give them food and water,
and on and on. But GOD Himself (not the LAMB) will remove all the
- and God shall wipe EVERY TEAR from
Mercifully, the remembrances of bad times will be removed from their
minds. There will be no tears in the new heaven, Revelation 21:4 . The Lord
God will throw a
lavish banquet for all peoples (the
marriage supper), Isaiah
also reminds us what it will be like in the new heavens,
Isaiah 65:17-19-25 , where there will
no voice of weeping and no sound of crying. JOY replaces the sorrow and
from the NEW
AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The
Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975,
1977, 1995 Used by permission."
References to the Revelation of Jesus
Christ are in bold italics. All
other references are in bold