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October 31, 2019 1:00 am
Christ stands for everything his life and death and resurrection.
You could expand this text in your understanding to be this these sayings have washed their garments white because they wash them in the totality of Jesus Christ both in the shedding of his blood is the sinless Lamb of God, but also in the perfection of his deity and life as God the son, who lived and died in the lives yet again. And forevermore they stand in their pure garments representing the life of Jesus Christ. Men and women will be forced to receive the mark of the beast, and anyone who refuses will be killed. Responding to the gospel in the midst of that kind of pressure will be difficult, but many will during the tribulation the gospel will spread the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient for salvation even during a time when God has brought judgment. This is wisdom for the hearts and today Stephen deity brings to a close. His series on the great tribulation called four horsemen in the coming world madness in this lesson. He's in Revelation 7 where we meet this assembly that responded to the gospel during the tribulation. Let's get started. Revelation chapter 7 let's pick up where we left off with verse nine where we read after these things I love and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongue standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palm branches were in her hands and they cry out with a loud voice say salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb now immediately upon reading this particular text. Your mind is racing with several questions. So let me ask and answer a few of them.
The odds of first.
Where did this vast number of people come from looked down at the middle of verse 14 where John is given a clear answer that question we read these are the ones who come out the great tribulation that turn the great tribulation was coined by Jesus Christ himself.
As he described that eschatological. Her divine wrath in Matthew 24 verse 21 he uses the phrase great tribulation to refer to the last half of what we know to be Daniel's prophetic 70th week. This is the final 3 1/2 years of the tribulation.
The last half when disaster and persecution and devastation rises to unprecedented levels of horror and trouble to identify these people by the way, as the saved of all time or the saved church would be to ignore the definitive vocabulary of John's own words.
These are the ones these particular ones who have come out of the definite article by the way, offers translations dropped at the gym doesn't have it. Good thing to include the original and the great tribulation. This is not just great tribulation which the church has suffered over the centuries. This is the great tribulation eschatological term for the last week of Daniel's prophetic vision to hear this period of time that the original language uses the present tense with his participles translated in your English Bible verse 14.
These are the ones who come out. These are they literally translated who are presently continually at this moment in time, coming the great tribulation. In other words, the early vision of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists we studied our last session together were preaching on earth. This is occurring simultaneously with that vision and now believers either through their preaching or some other gospel Avenue believed died either the devastations or as martyrs. They are now flooding there pouring heaven.
Imagine is John then is watching the number of those in heaven is actually growing like people streaming through the gates of a football arena stadium. These people keep coming.
Listen, ladies and gentlemen to be absent from the body for the believers to be present, with whom the Lord significance 58. There is no intermediate purgatory whereby you have your sins judge and paid for overtime in the flames of torment before entering heaven. There is no soul sleep where you're sort of stuck in limbo waiting until a further summons. There is no waiting in the grave for this body weights as it were in the grave, asleep with the spirit immediately goes to be with the Lord and here we see them clothed in some intermediate body.
Why, because her wearing a robe that has all palm branches body to do that they have come from our from this period of time known as the great tribulation. Second question will more specifically, just who are these people will notice is John specifically identifies the backup in verse nine, the middle part is coming from every nation, that word is F Noss refers to an ethnic body of people united by culture common tradition. There also from every try this refers to the same family line. This could be translated plan that will be there. These saints are also from goes on from every people's of the races. The Redeemer also. Finally, from every tongue language stores glow side gives us our word glossary.
This is a word to refers to every group of people distinguished by a language which is an amazing implication that John even implies surprise as he writes the opening line verse nine. After these things I looked, and behold love that I looked in while. Would you behold has it that no one so perhaps even surprise. Would you guess which leads me to another question and he was wondering why are so many people saved during the tribulation to amazing to see so many people saved in our generation is in it, especially in those countries that are suffering the persecution of believers to know there are thousands literally every day just in China alone who are demonstrating faith and exercising Christ alone media ministry was about the heart of learning not to long ago from our Internet site that shows that now between eight and 10,000 people download a sermon podcast every week and it's startling to me from 2530 different different countries in a weeks time. I read through the list of Vietnam, Japan, the Arab emirate state, Kazakhstan, France, the Philippines and on and on and on.
We are who they are by the they just logged on downloaded a free resource that we do have this sense that the gospel is going to places we never ever dreamed. Perhaps some of them are hearing the gospel and should the rapture occur, they will believe and be part of this company to make several observations of these believers from the scene first. Would you notice what they're wearing.
Verse nine informs us that they are wearing white robes white robes stand for purity. These people have been forgiven their scarlet stained lives have been washed.
What is will the prophet said pictured now with white robes, representing the purity, the Roman generals with wear white clothing as they rode back into the capital city of their empire following victories in battle. This was the color of contours that the soil all my K clothing of armies who now lay defeated in the juror know this is the color of the closing of victory in Marcus. Ladies and gentlemen the scene that were given here.
These people do not in the presence of God. Weary be discouraged on how they are victorious they may have been cut down by an executioner. They here are actually the victor.
They have through Christ conquered death and now stand, awaiting the final resurrection of the body with their spirit already rejoicing with God in this temporary body or singing praise to God down in verse 14, John adds the detail they have washed their robes making them white in the blood of the Lamb. The idea of making something white by washing it in blood seems paradoxical to us, doesn't like the little shot not to those with an Old Testament background to them.
Such washing the noted spiritual purity through the sacrificial shedding of blood of an innocent lamb. Keep in mind as well that when we think of shedding blood. We think immediately of death.
The Jewish people immediately thought of life. The life is in the blood Genesis chapter 9 verse four. So when the New Testament speaks about the blood of Jesus Christ means not only his his bloodletting on the cross in his death.
It also refers to his life of perfection, so that he could be. Though I am perfected as the final Paschal Passover lamb. The blood of Christ stands for everything his life and death and resurrection. You could expand this text in a in your understanding to be this these saints have washed their garments white.
That is, they become pure and victorious because they washed them in the totality of Jesus Christ both in the shedding of his blood is the sinless Lamb of God, but also in the perfection of his deity and life as God the son, who lived and died, and the lives yet again. And forevermore. Here they stand in their pure garments representing the life of Jesus Christ is bloodshed. His death and resurrection.
They in him are victorious over death and sin and Satan observation number two would you notice that only what they're wearing. But what they're holding the universe and I were told her holding palm branches in their hands waving palm branches before the throne of God. You member this is what happened when Jesus Christ rode on that immediately tamed unbroken told he rode into the city of Jerusalem is the people took palm branches and and went out and wave them at Christ as he entered the city and that created an incredible stir. Why, because waving palm branches before someone was an activity reserved for royalty.
You only did this for came in the culture to the Jewish people in Jerusalem that they were recognizing the one they believe it establishes messianic kingdom and his right to rule over them.
They were declaring to everyone there came come. That's why they shouted by the way, in John's Gospel chapter 12 or 13 Hosea Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel, here comes the king is what they were sent course, they would later reject him and he according to divine plan suffer is the Passover lamb but now here we have again the appearance of palm branches in their being waived this time.
Untold millions are waving palm branches before the throne of God the father and his son, the Lamb observation number three. Notice what they're saying in verse 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.
This is all about him first. I praise him for his great salvation. Salvation belongs to our God is his doing it is offering for by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, anything you do side simply receive his work.
Do you hear anyone boasting of their deeds.
In the scene baptism day how long I've been on the sun is going anywhere.
I was a member of this or that church you see anybody before this throne admiring their own effort and their own hand in her own words to get in. Not a chance house shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation Hebrews 2 verse three. This salvation of God is is what they praise because it is all of God.
He is the only way in. He is the only way he is the only way God alone created plan of salvation God alone offers the gift of salvation God alone receives the praise for his great salvation wonder. This is their theme.
They praise him for his great salvation. They secondly praise him for his global sovereignty, salvation to our God who sits upon the throne would be easy to doubt he was sovereign. Then maybe as they died. Horrific plunder faith without doubting or debating here God alone sits on the front of the heavens and he alone rules the universe's third day that only praise him for his great salvation and glorious sovereignty. But for his gracious sacrifice, salvation to our God who sits upon the throne and on to whom the Lamb. There he stands pictured as an chapter 5, bearing in his glorified body. The wounds of crucifixion demonstrated in his glorified body to Thomas and the others showing him the nail prints in hands and feet and spear wound in his side. He retained those to be forever a demonstration of his great gracious sacrifice, perhaps even cuts on his four head from the makeshift crown of thorns whereby the human race mocked his claim to divine loyalty and and here he stands millions upon millions of the redeemed, shouted over and over again, salvation to our God who sits upon the throne to the Lamb. Salvation belongs to our God and who sits upon the throne, and to our land. Such a moving site is filled with with such wonder the Angels are disorder swept up in it and they fall down for the throne of verse 11 and all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne of God and and worshiped him. They just sort of get swept up in the inner saying these angels are Baptist angels. Evidently this is the only doxology in the Bible. By the way that both begins and ends with the word amen amen means simply, it is the truth. We tell you it's the truth.
What they just said about their salvation is the truth and then they had the sevenfold statement as they sort of read from the resume of the character of God a chance.
He is worthy of blessing you like Gia, we had our work eulogy. From this it means to speak well of someone that we usually reserve a eulogy for someone after they die. Oftentimes eulogies are are nothing more than carefully worded fitness not this eulogy. The well speaking offered to the living God. He is worthy of whatever you can think of saying good about him is worthy of his worthy of docs this gives us our doxology to reference to the glory derived from a good reputation is worthy third of of all Sophia wisdom, which is embodied in our God is worthy of Eucharist, the gives us our word Eucharist gratitude and Thanksgiving is worthy of it all is worthy of of two may the word is greatest steam is worthy of doing this gives us our word dynamic or dynamite as a reference the power to act independently of anyone but his triune counsel, he can do what ever he wants to do and whatever he does is right. I'm glad that he is not power less, but he is all-powerful and he will always do what is right and he will one day make all things new. He is worthy number seven, the viscous that his strength throughout history as part of his divine resume of attributes. His will was accomplished by his divine omnipotence for how long.
From what they say is God worthy of this for a month, year or even a century no. John writes forever and ever forever and never he is worthy, it's the truth now at this point. An interesting conversation has begun between John and the believer in elder love explained earlier, I believe represents the church record heaven. Prior to this tribulation is elder is emphasizing to John the importance of recognizing that is why Road St. he asks John.
Verse 13. Who are they, and where they come from, and John. He, he says, verse 40 I said in my who are you know they are the says my Lord he's not ascribing deity. This man is simply a polite way of addressing someone. It's the word Sir wave polite addressing the someone in people from the South understanding we understand his language we say yes sir no sir yes ma'am no ma'am right you from the north it say yeah yeah yeah yeah we driving horses yet yeah how many of you are from the north. I speak to an audience of transplanted Northerners. How many of you are glad you're in the South.
Glad you're here yeah yeah yeah things. I suffer, sir. With great respect you the answer.
The elder knew the answer but this was his way of opening the conversation up to clarify for John and and us that these were not members of the church. I would've known that already rapture. These are believers who been saved and died sometime during the tribulation.
They are now enjoying the presence of God.
There are joys of heaven seen here in these remaining verses of this chapter and I'll put them in a twofold outline number one they are sheltered by their sovereign. This is one of the joys of heaven. Verse 15 and he for this reason or before the throne of God and to serve him day and night in his temple. And he who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over they are safe forever secure they were before the feeling now sheltered by the sovereign. Secondly, they are satisfied by their shepherd for 16 they will hunger no longer nor thirst anymore and will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat this verse. Many believe is a reference to the fourth bowl which is given report outages, excruciating heat and sunlight which is magnified perhaps a reference to those who believe in, or persecuted by being thrown out of the sun without water to drink. We do know this. There's no longer any deep probation is no longer any suffering.
In verse 17 says wife of 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. This is the prayer of David is revolving underneath the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not what shall I want means because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need for those who do not have them as their shepherd are always wanting. He makes me lie down in green pastures literally makes it possible for me to lie down. She will now either analysts are free of fear, free from hunger. He makes it possible for me to rest. Why feet all the no fear grates on the horse and by saying, surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This was his prayer and this is their experience as a dear friend if you want him to be your shepherd over there.
You must have him as your shepherd over here for those who follow the shepherd on earth they will one day be shepherded by him in eternity. John's vision ends in verse 17 with the promise that God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Tears are God created the ability to do so is God created not necessarily the result of the fall or sinful human nature.
It is a God created Avenue for emotional response.
I believe heaven will be a place of great emotion, joyful tears by believers preps moved to the side of the Lamb thrilled with wonder. We are at his throne. We will share. I believe tears of gratitude through purified, perfected, glorified God pleasing joyful emotions believe that's part of heaven it would occur to me. Here's a read this study. This that is millions of people in this scene in heaven have palm branches.
Imagine how many millions of palm trees.
There will be in heaven to supply.
In fact, it just might be the signature tree in the capital city non-model: here, no pun intended K but it just might be interesting to study the history of Israel and discover the date Paul was the symbol of this nation's prosperity coins were minted with Paul and the vibe if I could Titus the Roman Gen. destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
He minted in his mockery of metal showing a Jewish man sitting under a palm tree indicating he was now a slave of her own.
I wonder I can't be sure but I just wonder if this is one more interesting twist is the royalty of Christ will be seen raining in Jerusalem, and the prosperity of of of ethnic returned a revived Israel, so to speak is symbolized here resting no longer as slaves of anybody but slaves of we do know is that there waving millions upon palm branches.
I do know this is no need to fear the need to spend a fortune trying to hold back the inevitable.
Yes, take care of yourself as best you can so you can make a contribution to your Lord family or spiritual family until he takes you clear your perspective.
We stayed to rivet it on earth. Look here at the revelation of Jesus Christ and millions in heaven, which in this scene is a scene of believers exploding show. With that we bring not only this lesson but this series to a close.
Stephen Davey has been working his way through a series on the great tribulation called four horsemen in the coming world madness. If you had to miss any of the lessons along the way. We have them available for you. We posted this series to our website which you'll firstname.lastname@example.org because of time constraints for radio we often have to shorten Stephen's lesson.
But when you go to our online archives.
You can hear the lesson in its entirety.
Once again, that's wisdom.
Online.we've also taken this series and put it together as a set of CDs that's available on our website or you can call us at 86 648 Bible will begin our next series on Monday because tomorrow is our question and answer day join us for that here on wisdom for the heart