Revelation 7:9-17

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Rev 7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Rev 7:10  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Rev 7:11  And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
Rev 7:12  Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [ be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Rev 7:16  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
Rev 7:17  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Introduction

It is worth noting that the words ‘After this,’ according to all of the literal translations, should read “After these things” meaning that there is an orderly progression in the way we “keep the things which are written therein.” I noticed in my word search that this phrase appears eight times throughout the book of Revelation, and it is obvious that we all must be “carnal… babes in Christ, before we can grow to the point of enduring seven trumpet judgments followed by the seven last plagues of the seventh trump.

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [ is] at hand.

The reverse application of Rom 12:3 is that we are never to “return to our vomit” or fail to “leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ”.

Heb 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3  And this will we do, if God permit.

So if God permits we will now ask, ‘Who is this “great multitude which no man could number?”‘ How do they differ from the “144,000 of all the tribes of Israel?” The Four beasts and the four and twenty elders, who tell us they are God’s elect, are also said to be ‘of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues.’

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

These four beasts and four and twenty elders of Rev 5 are “kings and priests… and reign with Christ on the earth?” Is it possible that this “great multitude which no man can number” is simply another type and symbol of God’s few, chosen and faithful elect? After all, are we not told that this great multitude”came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb?” How can we know for certain that this group who “came up out of great tribulation and have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb” are not the same as the 144,000?
The answer is that we have already gone into great depth to demonstrate that all who come to God “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” must first become the true spiritual circumcision, the true spiritual Jews and true spiritual Israelites. This is, was and will be true for all the aions of mankind. The Word of God “shall not pass away.”

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Being an Israelite is now no longer a physical matter. It is now a spiritual matter only, and a physical Jew “is not a Jew, and a physical Israelite is now only “that which is called the circumcision.” What has the coming of Christ accomplished for all of mankind, both physical Jews and physical Gentiles who are “now in Christ Jesus?” Here is what Christ has accomplished. It cost Him His life, but He was willing to make that sacrifice.

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Both Jews and Gentiles are now one, and there is nothing that separates us. It is of utmost importance that we realize that all who come to God are now spiritual Jews, spiritual Israelites and must be spiritually circumcised in heart. What this proves is that, as we noted last week…

The camp of Israel here represents the whole of mankind.

It is out “of all the tribes of Israel” that the very select group of 12,000 from every tribe is chosen and sealed. Yet anyone who ever comes to God at any time must do so through Christ, and the coming of Christ has necessitated that all who now come to God must first become spiritual Israelites. Here are the two verses from above which make this case.

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Physical Gentiles were “in time past” not a part of Israel, but now, in Christ, a physical Israelite is now no longer part of the true Israel unless he is “in Christ’s one body.”

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

We have demonstrated that all the promises in Christ are yes and amen for all who are in Christ, because all who are in Christ are now “counted for… Abraham’s seed,” regardless of physical pedigree.

2Co 1:20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

It is “by us” that all the promises “in Him are yes and Amen.” The reason that all the promises are sure “by us” is because it is “through our mercy” that all unbelievers, who are not yet “in Christ” and who therefore are not yet “counted for… Abraham’s seed… in Christ,” are yet to receive mercy and are all yet to become Abraham’s seed, through Christ, “by us.”

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31  Even so have these [ all unbelievers] also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

All will come to be in Christ because there is no other way to God.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Christ is the only way to get to the Father, and if we are in Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Now we come to a part of God’s Word which is deeply hidden from even those of orthodox Christianity who consider themselves to be the spiritual seed of Abraham, and it was even hidden from those to whom Paul ministered, who considered themselves to be the spiritual seed of Abraham. What is so very hard for most all Christians to see or believe is that…

There are two very distinct seeds of Abraham.

Here is part of the promise made to Abraham. It gives us a clue as to who are “those who come up through great tribulation and wash their robes white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Gen 13:14  And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
Gen 13:15  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
Gen 13:16  And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

As mentioned at the opening of this study, certain things have to happen before more revelation can be given. “After Lot was separated from Abraham,” the above promise is given to Abraham. Later more revelation is given and this promise is repeated to “the seed of Abraham” of whom very few are aware.

Gen 16:9  And the angel of the LORD said unto her [ Hagar], Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
Gen 16:10  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

Hagar returns to her mistress Sarai and has a son whom Abraham names Ishmael. Ishmael is born when Abraham Isa 86 years old. Then about thirteen years later, Sarah has Isaac and a few years after that, when Isaac is weaned, God tells this to Abraham concerning his son by the bondwoman:

Gen 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
Gen 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, [ even] with Isaac.
Gen 21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
Gen 21:12  And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Gen 21:13  And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

The message here concerning Ishmael is the same message we see in the epistles of Paul and John. Those who go out from God’s elect are, and always have been, much more popular, and therefore a much greater populace, than are those who are faithful to the word of God.

Act 20:30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
2Co 11:12  But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Act 15:24  Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

1Jn 2:19  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [ no doubt] have continued with us: but [ they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

“They went out from us, but they were not of us… Satan’s ministers, false apostles… of your own selves.” This too, is that part of Abraham’s seed, which “persecuted him that was born after the Spirit,” and this is that great multitude which no man can number, of the tribes of Israel which are the seed of Abraham by the bondwoman, and the rejected twin brother, seed of Abraham of Rom 9.

Rom 9:11  (For [ the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

“The election” are the 144,000 who will rule on this earth, and will judge angels in the lake of fire. So while the camp of Israel typifies all of mankind, when speaking of learning how to worship God in the wilderness, the “son of the bondwoman” also typifies “the seed of Abraham” who is cast out, but is yet acknowledged to be Abraham’s seed, and is promised “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude This “seed of Abraham is this great multitude who, at a later resurrection, “come up out of great tribulation and wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
So “Abraham’s seed,” even those who think of themselves as being “in Christ,” are in reality, also of two kinds. The first is the seed of Abraham which is of the bondwoman, which “shall not be numbered for multitude.” This “son of the bondwoman… seed of Abraham,”  is not and cannot at this time be “counted for the seed” even though they are the “seed of Abraham.”

Joh 8:37  I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Joh 8:38  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Joh 8:39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

But there is also another “seed of Abraham” which is “counted for the seed.” In 1Co 15:22, Paul informs us that “as in Adam all die, so in Christ, will all be made alive.” In Gal 4 he goes to great lengths to distinguish between Abraham’s seed as “the son of the bondwoman,” and Abraham’s seed as the “son of the freewoman.” Both being “in Abraham” are thereby to be considered as Christians, and Paul is telling the Galatians that both are in the church at Galatia.

Gal 4:19  My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Gal 4:20  I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
Gal 4:21  Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Paul has already told us in Rom 2, and in Eph 2, that all who come to God must first become the spiritual seed of Abraham. But Paul is very clear here in Gal 4 that the son of the bondwoman seed of Abraham “answers to Jerusalem that now is and is in bondage with her children, [ and] the son of the bondwoman will not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

“We are not of the bondwoman, but of the free?” Who is “we?” It certainly is not those who are the seed of Abraham whose seed “cannot be numbered for multitude.”

Gen 16:10  And the angel of the LORD said unto her [ Hagar], I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

“We who as Isaac was, are the children of promise” are the “few chosen” out of all the tribes of Israel, who can be and who are numbered. Christ spoke of these two groups when He said this:

Mat 22:11  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
Mat 22:12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Mat 22:13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [ him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 22:14  For many [ cannot be numbered] are called, but few [12,000 of all the tribes of Israel] are chosen.

The man without a wedding garment appears in the parable to be the minority, but the last verse of the parable reveals him to be of the “many” and of  the “great multitude which no man could number.”
So as incredible as it may seem to the natural man, there is a “seed of Abraham” which believes in Christ, which is both “of your father the devil” and is also “the son of the bondwoman.”

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Let’s read it all again, and understand who it is whose seed is said to be “as the sand of the sea, and as the stars of heaven.” Here again is this mystery, as it is first revealed to us in Genesis. We read this above, but let’s read it again.

Gen 21:13  And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

We all, just like Abraham, hate to let go of our own flesh.

Gen 17:18  And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Gen 17:19  And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
Gen 17:20  And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
Gen 17:21  But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

The kingdoms of our flesh always mature before the kingdom of God within us. Therefore Ishmael and Esau, both Abraham’s seed “which could not be numbered for multitude,” had “twelve princes and twelve dukes,”which were “fruitful and multiplied exceedingly,” and had built cities and established kingdoms long before Israel ever even went down into Egypt as “seventy souls.”

The struggle between the two sons of Abraham are within us.

In the same manner, God’s apostle, in talking to God’s own church in Galatia, tells them that all of this is in their own midst and that he “stands in doubt of them” concerning this very scripture in Genesis.

Gal 4:19  My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Gal 4:20  I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
Gal 4:21  Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so [ it is] now.
Gal 4:30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

What does this have to do with us? It has everything to do with us. It is within us that all of this occurs. We are all first the children of the bondwoman, living in bondage to the “weak and beggarly elements” of this world. We all first “do service to them which by nature are no Gods.” We all then come to know God and then we “turn again to the weak and beggarly elements” which make us much more acceptable to the “great multitude which no man can number, of all the tribes of Israel,” before we are chosen to be those who can be and are counted and sealed of God.

Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

“Jerusalem that now is and is in bondage with her children” is the spiritual symbol of God’s church today, as it lends its support to any and everything that opposes the example which Christ left us that we should walk in His steps.”

1Pe 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

It is the “great multitude which no man could number” which makes up the “many Jews who believed in Him,” and yet hated Him and the “example He left us.” It is those who make up the “great multitude which no man can number” who say they believe in Christ, and yet they want to kill Him rather than follow the example He left us. What in the world was it these Galatians were doing that led Paul to make his assessment that they were “turning again to the weak and beggarly elements? What in the world were they doing that was doing service to them which by nature are no gods? Is this of any significance to us? Does this have anything to do with the example Christ left us? Here is what led Paul to this sad assessment of the church at Galatia. What does the very next verse in Galatians say?

Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Christ did not even keep the sabbath or the holy days of the church of His day. Should we follow His example, or should we just fit in with the great multitude which no man could number?
The symbolism of 144,000 out of all the tribes of Israel, is the symbol of all who have been given to “follow the steps and example Christ has left us.” This is an incredibly small number in comparison to the many billions of “all the tribes of Israel.” It is an incredibly small number taken from the billions of all the world, who will, in the end, all be the “seed of Abraham” who are “as the sand of the sea… as the dust of the earth, and as the stars of heaven which cannot be numbered for multitude.”
But where does the Bible ever say that Abraham’s seed was to inherit all the world? Here is where that is revealed.

Rom 4:13  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Promise, spirit and faith, are all one and the same in referring to the seed of Abraham which receives the promises of inheritance and rulership over both “this world and angels.” “The promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but [ the promise that spiritual Abraham and the spiritual seed of Abraham would be the heir of the world was] through the righteousness of faith.”
Where is Abraham ever given such a promise? It is found and repeated all through the story of Abraham and his seed. Here it is again:

Gen 13:16  And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Gen 16:9  And the angel of the LORD said unto her [ Hagar], Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
Gen 16:10  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

“The dust of the earth” is all over “the world.” Paul makes this clear in telling us that Abraham and his seed “should be heir of the world.”  It is now obvious that this “great multitude which no man can number” here in Rev 7, is nothing less than “the seed of the son of the bondwoman” of Gen 16:10. This is “the seed of Abraham” which, according to Paul, is right in God’s church and is so numerous “that it shall not be numbered for multitude.” The great multitude which no man can number is the ” many called” and the 144,000 out of all the tribes of Israel are the symbol of  the “few who are chosen.”

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

Mat 22:14, Mat 13:10-15, set against 1Co 15:22, 1Ti 4:10, and 1Jn 2:2 and many other New Testament verses assure us that there is a passage of time between the sealing of the 144,000 out of all the tribes of Israel and “the great multitude which no man could number.”

Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15  For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [ their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16  But blessed are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Rev 6 is the opening of the first six seals, and the sixth seal reveals that there is a great judgment which will be poured out upon all mankind:

Rev 6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Verse 15 describes this great host which no man could number. It is “every man.”

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

“Every man… shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” This is the message of Revelation six and seven. Chapter six reveals these two groups of chapter 7 in the fifth and sixth seals. We have just seen the great multitude which no man could number in Rev 6:12-17. The 144,000 are those in the fifth seal who are even now seated with Christ in the heavens (Eph 2:6), and at the same time are crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20), and who die daily with Christ (1Co 15:31), while yet in these bodies of dust and clay.

Rev 6:9  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

It is only those who ” keep” these words, and are spiritually “slain for the word of God,” who are “under the altar,” which altar is the cross of Christ, waiting for the full complement of our brothers who have yet to “enter into His rest and cease from their own works.” It is only they, the few and the easily numbered, who will rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom. That must first be accomplished within “the kingdom of God [ which is] within us,” before it will be given to any of us to rule and reign over the kingdoms of this world without, during the thousand years of Satan’s imprisonment and throughout the aions of the lake of fire.
Note the similarities between what we read of those who are redeemed through the agency of the lake of fire, in Rev 21, and “the great multitude which no man can number” in Rev 7.

Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

This is what we read of the great multitude which no man can number in Rev 7.

Rev 7:15  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Rev 7:16  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
Rev 7:17  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The similarities are striking because they are one and the same. These are all the rest of mankind who were not in that blessed and holy first resurrection.

The purpose for the placement of Revelation chapter 7

It is instructive to note that this chapter, which assures us of the salvation of all men, is placed right after the dire predictions of the sixth seal in chapter six.

Rev 6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

It is a very comforting conclusion which is advanced to us between the day of God’s wrath in the sixth seal and the seven trumpet judgments which carry out that wrath, beginning in chapter 8.

Rev 8:1  And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
Rev 8:2  And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

So after we are warned of the day of God’s wrath, and before we get to the comforting words of Rev 21 quoted above, we are assured at this critical juncture of the final salvation of a great multitude which no man can number, and we have seen that this same phrase is used of “the dust of the earth, the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven.” Clearly we are being told in the revelation of the two groups of this seventh chapter that it is through the unbelief of the latter that the former is chosen and sealed to God, and it is through the mercy of the former that the latter will be given mercy. We are also being told that it is all the working of the angels, winds, and spirits of God. (Rev 7:1). It is all in complete accord with what Paul has revealed to us in Rom 11.

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Summary

We have seen once again, that the camp of Israel, outside the court of the temple, represents the whole world, which world Abraham was promised when he was promised that His seed would be as the dust of the earth.
We have seen that there are two distinct “seeds of Abraham” – one which is said to be “the son of the bondwoman” and the other “the son of the freewoman”. We saw that the seed of the son of the bondwoman always grows much faster and matures long before the seed of the son of the freewoman.
We saw that all of this is to be realized and kept within us before we will be granted  rulership over the outward kingdoms of this world.
What we have learned is that the great multitude which no man can number is those who believe in Christ, but who simply are not granted the ability in this life to accept and follow the example Christ has left us to follow in His footsteps.
Finally we saw that the placement of this chapter gives us the assurance that the wonderful outcome of the salvation of a great multitude which no man can number, is not in any way in doubt, and that all the seven trumpet judgments and the seven vials of the seventh trump, and really nothing more than the necessary steps toward that blessed and wonderful conclusion of the salvation of  a multitude which is as the dust of the earth, the sand of the sea, and the stars of heaven .
Next week, Lord willing we will begin our study into the seven trumpet judgments.

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