“These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 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. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 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.” Revelation 7:14-17
In this world, the battle rages between those in the kingdom of darkness and those who are in the kingdom of light. And the battle is fierce as the devil and those allied with him seek to destroy the faith of all who hope in Jesus. With his lies and temptations to turn us away from the truth, he seeks to separate us from Christ Jesus and the mercy and forgiveness Jesus won for us when He lived a holy and sinless life in our stead and then went to the cross to pay in full the penalty for the sins of the world.
At times it may appear to us that the battle is lost as we struggle against the forces of evil and are tempted from within and without. We watch as friends and family members fall and turn away from Christ and His Word. Even our own hearts and desires would lead us to eternal ruin. We are spoken against and persecuted for clinging to Jesus and the comfort of His Word.
But the battle is not lost. As the battle rages on here in this world and the Scriptures warn us of the suffering yet ahead for believers, Jesus shows us a vision and picture of the end. He wants us to know we have the victory in Him. The eternal joys of heaven are certain for all who trust in His shed blood.
John writes by inspiration of the Holy Ghost (Revelation 7:9-12): “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; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 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, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”
After we are shown God sealing His elect in this world to protect and keep them unto eternal life, we are lifted up into heaven, to the very throne of God, to see a great host beyond number arrayed in white. They are from every nation and kindred and people and language. They, together with the angels, stand before the throne and worship the LORD God and the Lamb of God who has taken away the sin of the world.
And who are these arrayed in white? And from where did they come? One of the elders answered John: “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 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.”
Who is it that we see in heaven around the throne of God? It is you and me and believers of all time who have come out of the great tribulation going on here in this world. They are the ones who “have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” They have placed their faith and hope in Jesus; they have come to the cross of Jesus and had all their sins washed away in His blood which was shed for the sins of the world. They have, by the gracious working of the Holy Ghost, come to believe the Gospel – that the blood of Jesus, their crucified and risen Savior, cleanses them from all sin (cf. 1 John 1:7 – 2:2).
It is with all their sins washed away by the blood of Jesus and clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ that they stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb and serve God day and night in His temple. It is because they have been cleansed in the blood of Jesus that God dwells among them and removes from them all the troubles of this fallen world.
As the Scripture reveals to us, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 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.”
Though the battle rages on here in this world, we have seen the end. In Jesus and for the sake of His blood shed for us on the cross, we have the victory. He has shown us a glimpse into heaven and the glory that is ours there for Jesus’ sake. In Him, we trust and rejoice!
O dearest Jesus, holy and precious Lamb of God sacrificed upon the cross for the sins of the world, keep us through the tribulations of this world and preserve us unto the everlasting joys of heaven, for the sake of Your cleansing blood. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible]