Summary of passage: John saw an infinite number of people in white robes from every nation standing before the throne in front of the Lamb with palm branches in their hands. Angels all around fell down and worshiped God. One of the elders revealed the people in white robes to be those who have come out of the Great Tribulation. They will serve God day and night, never again be hungry or thirsty or cry, and Jesus will be their shepherd and lead them to springs of living water.
10a) “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” They were acknowledging that they were saved by God and the Lamb.
b) They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne in front of the Lamb wearing white robes and holding palm branches. Very similar. Believers are from every nation on earth and they stand before the Lamb clothed in Jesus’s righteousness as the Savior.
c) Personal Question. My answer: I am unsure about some family members’ faith. Invite them to church and BSF to learn more about God.
11) They are justified, made righteous, cleaned of all sin, so they can stand before God. Isaiah calls them “garments of salvation” and “a robe of righteousness.” Also, the white robes signify how we are made into priests, ready for holy service to the Lord.
Specifically here, these Christians have died for Jesus as he died for them, hence being washed in the blood of the Lamb.
12a) Lamb: Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Shepherd: Jesus is the shepherd for his people (lambs). Whoever comes to him will be saved and have life to the full (eternal). We will see this again in Revelation 21.
Living Water: Jesus gives living water (eternal life) to those whom ask (have faith in him and believe in him). John 7:39 says the living water is the Holy Spirit. Both are correct for if you have the Holy Spirit, you are a believer and thus will have eternal life. We will see this again in Revelation 22.
b) Personal Question. My answer: We are to serve the Lord day and night. Overall, more reverence for what Jesus has done for me.
Conclusions: Good questions. Brings out highlights of passage. 10c is very similar to question 5 in Lesson 7 Day 2 Good thing to keep in mind as we head up to the holiday season where we will mix with many family and friends who don’t know the saving grace of Jesus.
End Notes: John is speaking of two different groups of believers here. The first are sealed prior to the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:1-8). The second is this multitude who have come out of the Great Tribulation and made righteous (Revelation 7:9-17).
In the Greek, “the” is emphatic in verse 14, definitely referring to “the Great Tribulation” before the End Times. This multitude were those who were rescued during that time, leading many scholars to speculate they are all martyrs. Coming right after the 144,000, some scholars speculate this means the 144,000 were evangelists who saved the multitude. Cool!
The phrase “great tribulation” is used only once outside of Revelation in the New Testament. It’s in Matthew 24:21 and Jesus speaks of it. He speaks of it in the same way Daniel does in Daniel 12:1, leading scholars to speculate that the scrolls Daniel speaks of in Daniel 5 are the same Jesus holds here in Revelation.
As a reminder, the Great Tribulation is a time of intense persecution for Christians. Scholars debate when this will occur. Some say its in the future right before Jesus’s Second Coming. Others say it occurred during John’s time under the Romans. Regardless, John’s point is the tribulation will not last forever.
The multitude is God’s promise to Abraham fulfilled (Genesis 15:5), which Jacob repeats (Genesis 32:12).
We will all be different in heaven just like on earth.
White robes appear again (Revelation 6:2, 11).
The palm branches harken back to Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-16), where Jesus was also praised as Savior and King. They also signified victory after a war. The Romans would wave palm branches during a triumphal procession after a great Roman war victory. They would also wave it for emperors.
The victory here is God’s. Our salvation is from Him.
All created beings will worship God on His throne as we saw in Revelation 4 with the living creatures and elders.
There are no barriers to God in heaven; all can come before His throne and dwell with Him. The Greek word for “temple” here is the temple proper where God dwells not the larger precincts. Thus, no longer are the Levites the only ones allowed to approach God and be in His presence, but all believers will serve God and have been made priests in God’s service (Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 10:6).
“Shelter them with his presence” harkens us to the tabernacle in the wilderness.
In heaven, the Savior protects and nurtures and provides. Jesus does that here, but in heaven it’s so much more. No sorrow or pain will exist in heaven as God wipes away the tears which are caused by our past sufferings. On earth there is pain and He consoles us, but does not take it away. God’s tend is spread over them–nothing more will ever happen to them. There is nothing to worry about or fear.
But won’t we cry for loved ones in hell? Spurgeon answered this by saying we won’t because we will so understand divine will and our compassion for those suffering will be balanced out by our detestation of sin.
Living water also appears in Isaiah 49:9-10. He says they will neither hunger nor thirst nor be scorched by desert heat.
Conclusions to Lesson 13: In Revelation 7, we see the first half (verses 1-8) of God’s promise to seal believers. The second half (verses 9-17) is the result of the sealing, God’s promise being kept. No more suffering. No more pain. No more tears. Great images and hope to believers as the End Times ever creep closer to consummation. Great summary of Bible’s message as a whole: God chooses us, seals us, and dwells with us. Who else can’t wait to serve God forever night and day? What a glimpse God has given us into heaven via John. Amazing!