Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Great Multitude

"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: 'Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!' " (Revelation 7:9-12 - New International Version)

The first half of chapter seven speaks of a numbered group of Hebrews; the last half tells us of an unnumbered group of all types of people. The first group were on earth; this second group is in heaven. The 144,000 had not yet begun their work for God; the great multitude had finished their work. The first was chosen by God; the second rejected by man. The first were protected from death; the second had died.

John used four phrases to emphasis how all encompassing this group is. There are people in this group from every nation or ethnic group; every kindred or tribe which refers to people having a common ancestor; every people or community; and every tongue or language. There is no group left out.

This multitude stands before the throne of God and before the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. They wear long white robes. This is symbolic of purity. The palm branches indicate that they are rejoicing.

The Amplified Bible brings out the meaning of verse ten. It reads, β€œIn loud voices they cried, saying, [Our] salvation is due to our God Who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb – to them [we owe our] deliverance!”

These people have been saved. They recognize that their salvation is not based upon anything which they have done. They deserve no praise. They are saved because of what God and the Lamb have done. Salvation is God's gift. Man cannot earn and does not deserve it.

All of heaven begins to proclaim the greatness, glory and goodness of God. How great a scene this will be: a vast multitude of people standing before God, and all around them angels worshiping God.

The angels begin their praise with a loud amen, indicating their agreement with what the multitude has said. Even the angels know that no person could be saved except that God saves them without any work on their part.

Then the angels ascribe to God, seven attributes. In the original Greek, there is a definite article in front of all these which suggests that God is the root of these things. So the angels tell us that God is the source of all blessing, all glory, all wisdom, all thanksgiving, all honor, all power and all might. This is similar to the praise offered to the Lamb in chapter five verse twelve.


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