“The 144,000 were on the earth. The present multitude is in heaven. The 144,000 were sealed before the time of judgment; this multitude has ‘come out of the great tribulation.’” (Easley, Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 128)
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.
If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to BibleGateway.com or another online Bible.
9. After this
Moving past the events in verses 1-8.
John wrote Revelation during the last part of the first century.
He looked and was shocked by what he saw.
Remember, the churches in the area were small with few believers.
Seeing the multitudes startled him. (MacArthur. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1999], 224)
“This vision must surely have renewed his joy and hope, as he realized that the church would survive and, in the end, people from the nations would be saved in great numbers.” (MacArthur, 224)
A great multitude which no man could number
The number is not mentioned because they could not be counted.
Of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues
The multitude of people is from every nation, every part of the world.
And they speak different languages.
Standing before the throne, and before the Lamb
They are standing before the throne of God and Jesus, the Lamb!
What an awe-inspiring event. I will be there! Will you?
Clothed in white robes
In Greek, the word for robes indicates they were long full-length robes. (MacArthur, 225)
And palms in their hands
This reminds me of The Triumphal Entry. It is in all the gospels, but John 12:13 mentions the palm branches.
10. And cried out with a loud voice
They are praising the Lord! Psalm 66:1
“The occupation of those in heaven is continual, eternal praise of the Almighty God.” (MacArthur, 227)
Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Jesus is there too.
“They identify God as our God, claiming, as do all the redeemed, God as their own.” (MacArthur, 227)
11. The great multitude includes all the angels.
They stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts
What were they doing?
They fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God
The angels joined the multitude mentioned in verse 9 and 10, fell on their faces
And worshipped God,
The angels were praising God!!!
“That wretched, unworthy sinners can freely mingle with the pristine, holy angels is a triumph of God’s grace that makes the angels glorify God all the more.” (MacArthur, 228)
Think of it, when we are in heaven, we will join the angels in worshipping of God at this throne.
12.“Of all the prayers in the New Testament, this is the only one with Amen at both the beginning and the end.” (Easley, 129)
“Amen means ‘so let it be.’” (MacArthur, 228)
Easley writes about Amen: “the pray just spoken is the solemn truth.” (136)
13. Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
“The elder’s question specifies and emphasizes the truth that people will be saved during the time of tribulation.” (MacArthur, 229)
14. Have you ever been asked a question you do not know the answer to?
What do you do or say?
Duh, I don’t know!!
John did not know the answer to the question.
His response was simply, Sir, thou knowest.
Tell me, please.
So, the next time someone asks you something you do not know the answer to, simply say, “you know, tell me please”.
These are they which came out of great tribulation
“This crowd has been arriving in heaven from earth and has continued to increase throughout the period of tribulation.” (Easley, 130)
And have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
How does washing robes in blood make them white?
The blood of the Lamb
Jesus sacrificed His life “that would once for all cleanse from sin.”
Jesus died on the cross to redeem us from our sins.
Multitude before God
15. Therefore are they before the throne of God
Because they have been cleansed, they can stand before the throne of God.
And serve him day and night in his temple
We are redeemed to worship Him. (Easley, 131)
“The phrase ’Day and night’ means ‘without end.’” (Easley, 131)
He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
“Tabernacle…reflects the sheltering presence of the Lord.” (MacArthur, 233)
“When they enter God’s presence, they will come to a heavenly sanctuary, the most secure place.” (MacArthur, 233)
They will be free from the terror of the Great Tribulation.
16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat
I cannot imagine the horrors of the tribulation.
This verse indicates those who refused the mark of the beast suffered hunger, thirst, the sun beating down on them and heat other than from the sun.
They will no longer have to suffer this torment.
17. This describes Jesus as a shepherd who cares for his sheep.
The shepherd shall lead them unto living fountains of waters.
“Here is the only mention in Revelation of Jesus as gentle Shepherd-Pastor of his flock.” (Easley, 132)
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
There will no tears in Heaven.
“The removal of tears symbolizes that God’s people will never again experience death, mourning or pain.” (Easley, 132)
There will be no pain (physical or emotional) in heaven.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1999