|-- INTERLUDE ON WHO WILL BE SAVED --
|SAVED MULTITUDES DURING TRIB
v9: John says that the following occurs after the "marking" of the Jews. We do not know how long this took. But John was there. Note John now sees a great multitude of people. Note that verses 1-8 discuss the saving of the nation of Israel only. Verses 9-17 discuss the saving of all others. Also, A great multitude, not numberable, of ALL OTHER people. The Greek translates to "tribes and peoples and tongues" (i.e. Gentiles - not part of the chosen tribes of Israel at birth; considered pagans). The multitude was standing before the person in the throne (God) and the Lamb (Jesus).
Since they are dressed in white, it is obvious they must be some of the saved people. They have been washed of their sins as denoted by the white robes. Note they have palms, not crowns. The palms signify rejoicing and gladness and victory. The holy land area is known as the land of the palms. Jericho is known as the city of palms. Palms were used to designate and show victory. That was the significance of the palm branches with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem the week before His crucifixion. The people were showing their distain for the Roman rule and were shouting hosanna, which means "please save us". The palms were a show of victory.
v10: The word "salvation" in Greek soteria as something of a hierarchy of meanings. It normally means ôsafety, deliverance, preservation". Then it could mean welfare or prosperity. Then victory. Then, in a Christian sense, deliverance from punishment and admission to eternal life.The words sound as if they desire that God have salvation. It actually means that their salvation was to be attributed entirely TO Him. This seems to indicate there will be worldwide preaching and conversions during the Trib.
v11-12: Now there is a general expression of joy in heaven. All the angels are around the throne (God), the 24 elders, and four creatures. The joy of the previous verses that showed multitudes of people with salvation given from God made the angels fall prostrate on their faces and worship God. They say Amen (so let it be so; it is faithful and true; "so be it"). There are her seven different types of praise attrributed to God. Review the chapter 5 commentary on these same praises that came about when the people that were not raptured but later converted to believers and were martyred in the first part of the tribulation and were now in heaven. Rev. 5:12 [commentary]. There is one difference. In 5:12 the term "riches" is used. In 7:12, the term "thanksgiving" is used. The martyred saints from the tribulation find it more appropriate to offer Him thanksgiving.
v13-14: Now one of the elders asks John a question. He wants to know who these multitudes or people are. Actually, the elder is asking John if he knows, but the elder knows the answer. John says the elder knows who they are. John says these are the people that were martyred in the beginnings of thegreat tribulation. This term "great" in this use is referring to the horror and majesty of the tribulation. It is probably not referring to what we have been designating as the Great Tribulation (the second half of the 7 years). This term is used by Jesus to describe the terrible nature of this time (Matt. 24:15, 21, 29-30)
In some Bible versions, John addresses the elder as "sir" and in some "lord". The newer versions use "lord". The word "sir" is a better translation of kurios; however, it can be translated as "lord" There is nothing wrong with lord. Just be assured at this verse the "lord" is not addressing the "Lord". The term lord is used throughout the Bible to address people of stature and power and ownership.
The people that are martyred in these verses are NOT people who knew who Jesus was but knowingly rejected Him. This is an apostate: one who knows the truth but purposely turns his back on the truth.(2 Thess. 2:10-12). This is an important point. It is estimated there may be a couple of billion people who have not know Christ or do not know enough about Him to make the decision. They would not have been raptured; but, these are the ones who will be accepted as martyrs if they convert and are kille during the tribulation.
v15: Because of the martyrs thankfullness of being washed in the blood of the Lamb, they will worship and praise God unceasingly, as Paul says to do. The KJV says God will "dwell" with the martyrs and other versions say "spread His Tabernacle". The Greek word used for "spread" or "dwell" is scenosei. This better translated as "spread His tabernacle". The term is most likely used while looking back at the Moses and the wilderness when God directed them to have a tabernacle. This tabernacle, to the Jews, (and the Temple, also) is the abode or place where God was present. The inference is that God will now live in them.
v16: Being in heaven, the people will no more be hungry or thirsty. They will not know the scorching heat of the day anymore. Of course, this is what we have been promised from the beginning.
v17: This has to be one of the most beautiful verses of the Bible. This is a point where Jesus assures all that He shall feed them and give them "living waters". Tears will be no more.
[Mandakis interlude: I believe the tears that are always mentioned in the Bible that will NOT be in heaven are the tears of hurt, sorrow, pain, horror, etc. Since we are of the character that we are in heaven as earth (feelings and emottions), I believe there could be tears of happiness and joy because that is us, and God made us this way. Therefore, I envision being able to look at our Lord and be so overwhelmed in joy, happiness, and awe, that we might see Him through tears; certainly at the very beginning.]
There are 3 groups saved so far:
Luke 15-22; Mat 22-11- 24-21; John 1-29; 4-.23;
12:13; 1 King 6:29; Jer 30:7; Dan 12-1; Zech 13:1
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