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

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tribulation Martyrs

"Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, 'These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?' I said to him, 'My lord, you know.' And he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.'" (Revelation 7:13-17 - New American Standard)

The Apostle John is approached by one of the elders who ask a puzzling question. John does not know who these people are. However, the purpose of the question was not to get John's answer but to make John consider the importance of this group.

John has no problem in confessing his ignorance. There are many people that need to expand their vocabulary to include, “I do not know.” I know some people who rather than saying this when asked a question will begin to guess and make up answer. There is no need to do this. John asks the elder to tell him who the people are.

The elder tells us that these people have come out of the Great Tribulation. So, during the seven year Tribulation unnumbered Christians will be martyred. Millions will give their lives for the Name of Christ.

The elder further emphasizes that these are saved and made pure because of the work of God and the Lamb. It is the blood of Jesus that makes a person clean before God. It is the blood shed at Calvary that makes a person white as snow. The good works of a person can not cleanse him.
There is a small clue in this passage about the nature of eternity. These martyrs will serve God day and night. That is what we are to do on earth, and that is what we will do in eternity. How we will serve him, we will discover when we reach eternity.

Verse sixteen gives us an indication of the suffering which brought these martyrs to heaven. As fugitives from the Antichrist, they suffered hunger and thirst. They fled through deserts. I am sure that we could add many other things to this list. Those martyrs from Canada would have suffered from the cold winds of winter without proper shelter.

Verse seventeen describes the wonders of eternity with God. We will be feed by the Lamb, we will enjoy living water and we will have nothing to cry about any more. There will be no pain, no sorrow, no suffering, no sin.

These martyrs traveled a rough and hard road on their way to glory. However, their suffering is insignificant beside the joys of eternal life with God. This great future is God's gift to those who simply trust in his son, Jesus, as the one who died in their place.


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