Revelation 7:9–17 (NKJV)
After the Revelation concerning the 144,000 Jews to be sealed against harm during the wrath of God on earth, John shares the vision concerning a great multitude that stood before God praising Him for salvation.
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,Revelation 7:9-12
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
After the 144,000 Israelites were sealed, a vision of a great multitude in heaven, larger than could be numbered, from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue. This means that they represented every known nation and speakers of every language in the world. These grateful people all stand before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes,and holding palm branches in their hands. They all cried out with a booming united voice lauding the God on the throne and the Lamb and thanking Him for their salvation. There is still a recollection of the previous scene of the throne, where the four living creatures and the elders, and now all the angels as well, are standing around the throne. When they worship Jesus, they fall on their faces and say: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.” This great chorus of souls cry out in honor to God and the Lamb in a deafening praise to God. It is an awesome scene of what will come.
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”Revelation 7:13-17
14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
One of the elders quizzed John as to who comprised this great multitude. John deferred back to the elder, not knowing for certain himself the makeup of the multitude. The elder then said that this multitude was comprised of those who came out of the great tribulation, saved by their sacrifice of their life during the period. These are those who joined the previous group identified as being under the altar crying out for justice. They have washed their own robes in the blood of the Lamb, and made them white. Now they are before the Lord’s throne at all times, serving in His temple. The Lord pledges to be among them always, also giving them the assurance that they will not hunger or thirst anymore, they will not be overwhelmed by the heat, and they will be led to living fountains of water. One last great statement is that God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. While this passage specifically states that these saints came out of the great tribulation, it gives us a glimpse of the heavenly activity that awaits all the saints of God. By extension, all saints have come together for this awesome scene. Perhaps the “coming out” refers to all saints who have come through all the church age, consummating with the tribulation saints. What a glorious multitude that praises God all the day and night forever! This image is powerful and wonderful to behold.