Revelation Chapter 7: 9
Revelation 7:9 – 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…
After the angels seal the 144,000 servants, John sees a multitude arrive in Heaven that no one could number. As discussed in the last section, God uses the ministry of the 144,000 Jewish servants to gather the multitude for the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14). The 144,000 servants of God are the firstfruits (Revelation 14:4) of this great harvest.
The great multitude comes from all “nations, tribes, people, and tongues.” Recall from Revelation 5:9, these divisions of country, family, race, and language covers all people groups:
Revelation 5:9 – And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”
The four-fold aspect of these divisions shows a relationship between humans and the earth. (Click here for more on the number four). This shows that the 144,000 servants of God will complete the “great commission” and preach the Gospel into “all the world”:
Mark 16:15-16 – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
After the 144,000 servants go to Heaven near the end of the Tribulation, the Lord continues to offer salvation through an angel to all people groups:
Revelation 14:6 – Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.
Considering the human population explosion in the last century shown on the graphic to the right, in addition to born-again Christians becoming a small minority, it is probable that more people will get saved in the Tribulation than during the entire Church Age. Most of these new believers will die and join the great multitude in Heaven which cannot be numbered.
The multitude stands “before the throne and before the Lamb,” who is in the midst of the throne of God in Heaven (Revelation 5:6). Recall from Revelation 4:6, that the sea of glass is before the throne.
Near the end of the Tribulation we see this sea of glass mingled with fire:
Revelation 15:2 – And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
Those who stand on the “sea” are the Tribulation saints, who choose Christ and reject the antichrist:
Revelation 20:4 – And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
The “mingled fire” appearance goes back to the jasper and sardius stone in Revelation 4:3, which are clear and blood-red in color, and represent Jesus. It is through Jesus that the Tribulation saints will wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, as we will see later (Revelation 7:14). Take note that the crystal sea is not yet mingled with blood in Revelation 4:6 because the Tribulation had not officially started, and thus no Tribulation Saints had died and arrived in Heaven yet.
It is interesting that the multitude from all the people of the world stands on the “sea” before the throne of God in Heaven, because the Gentile nations are often pictured as the sea (Revelation 7:3).
Recall from Revelation 3:5, soiled garments get removed upon salvation and replaced with white garments. White represents cleansing from sin (Isaiah 1:18, Psalms 51:5-7), and redemption made possible by the blood of the Lamb:
1 Peter 1:18-19 – …you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
The only other time we see a great multitude with palm branches, is in the “Triumphal Entry” of Jesus a few days before His crucifixion:
John 12:12-15 – The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
Palm trees and branches are widely seen as a symbol for victory, triumph, and peace (source). The first city the Hebrews conquered, after they crossed the Jordan in to the Promised Land, was Jericho, known as the “city of palm trees” (Deuteronomy 34:3, 2 Chronicles 28:15). The walls of Solomon’s temple included carvings of palm trees next to cherubim and flowers (1 Kings 6:29-35, 7:36, 2 Chronicles 3:5). Palm trees will be found in the Millennial temple too (Ezekiel 40-41). The earthly temple or tabernacle serves as a pattern of heavenly things, so it is no surprise that palm trees adorn the earthly temples and palm branches are found in Heaven:
Hebrews 8:4-6 – For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
We also find palm branches in the Feast of Tabernacles included in the “lulav” (source), a bound collection of branches and fruit from a variety of trees:
Leviticus 23:39-43 – Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Nehemiah 8:14-18 – And they found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” Then the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, or in their courtyards or the courts of the house of God, and in the open square of the Water Gate and in the open square of the Gate of Ephraim. So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.
For the Jews, the Feast of Tabernacles is like a Thanksgiving feast after the harvest:
Deuteronomy 16:13-14 – “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.
But the feasts are more than holidays, they are “appointments” (Leviticus 23:2-4), or as some put it, “dress rehearsals” for things to come. Fulfillment of all the feasts is found in Christ and His redemption of man. Christ fulfilled the first four feasts at His 1st Coming and will fulfill the last three feasts at His 2nd Coming, with the Feast of Tabernacles being the last:
|Passover||Christ’s death on the cross|
|Unleavened Bread||Christ’s burial|
|Pentecost||Christ poured out the Holy Spirit on the Church|
|Trumpets||Coronation of the King|
|Atonement||Christ’s return/Armageddon/Sheep and Goat Judgment|
|Tabernacles||Assembling of saints/Kingdom established/Wedding feast|
The last three feasts were not fulfilled at Christ’s 1st Coming, because the Jewish leaders rejected Him as Messiah and King. Also, it was not the appointed time (Leviticus 23:2-4), which will be at the end of the “soul harvest”, at the end of the Tribulation. Though the Jewish people proclaimed Christ as King on that Palm Sunday, Jesus knew they would reject Him as Messiah. This rejection paved the way for the Gentiles to take part in salvation (Romans 11) and become His Bride (2 Corinthians 11:2). The Feasts of Trumpets and Atonement will find fulfillment in the return of Jesus and His judgment on the nations. The Feast of Tabernacles will find fulfillment on the appointed day the year that Jesus returns, when He assembles all the saints from Heaven and Earth in His Kingdom:
Ephesians 1:7-10 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him.
The assembly of saints from all dispensations will celebrate Christ’s triumph over His enemies and mark the beginning of His Millennial reign in the marriage supper, which is a reception for marriage between the Lamb and His Bride, the Church, who will rule and reign with Him in the Kingdom (Revelation 1:6):
Revelation 19:5-9 – “Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
Jesus spoke about this wedding feast and celebration of the Kingdom in parables:
Luke 14:16-18, 21-23 – Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses… So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Matthew 22:8-10 – Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Recall from our discussion in Revelation 7:5-8, the servants who gather this multitude in Matthew 22 are the 144,000 servants of God through the Holy Spirit, who is the servant in Luke 14. For seven years, these servants will share the Gospel all over the world, harvesting the multitude that goes to Heaven during the Tribulation. The Jews celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days, which points to the assembly of saints in the Kingdom, after the great Harvest of souls in the seven-year Tribulation:
Leviticus 23:34 – “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.'”
Deuteronomy 16:13 – “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.”
Every Sabbath or seventh year (Leviticus 25) on the Feast of Tabernacles, all of Israel was to assemble to hear the Word of the God, showing a picture of the great assembly of the saints after the seven-year Tribulation:
Deuteronomy 31:10-13 – And Moses commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess.”
The Feast of Tabernacles is the only feast shown in Scripture that all nations will celebrate in the Millennium. Failure to send representatives to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles will result in punishment, which underscores how important this feast is:
Zechariah 14:16-19 – And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
In short, the multitude in Heaven wave palm branches during the seven-year Tribulation, looking forward to the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, when all the saints will assemble for the Kingdom, after the Jewish leaders accept Jesus as Messiah and King.
Like the multitude in Heaven, the Jewish people waved palm branches, accepting Jesus as King at His 1st Coming:
Matthew 21:8-9 – And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
John 12:12-13 – The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”
But the Jewish leaders rejected Christ the first time:
Matthew 21:42-45 – Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and marvelous in our eyes’ ? “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.
Matthew 23:33-39 – Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!’“
There will come a day when the Jewish leaders accept Jesus as Messiah, and corporately the Jews will acknowledge Christ as their King, in fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. Interestingly, we find this prophecy in the following Psalm, included in the “Hallel Psalms” (Psalms 113-118), which the Jews recite in full on the Feast of Tabernacles (source):
Psalms 118:22-26 – The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.This was the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
While the tribulation period will be a time of judgment, it will also be a time of unprecedented redemption (compare verses 14; 6:9-11; 20:4; Isa. 11:10; Matt. 24:14).
“All nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues”: All the earth’s people groups.
“White robes” (see note on 3:4).
“And palms”: In ancient times, they were associated with celebrations, including the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:17; John 12:13).
These are obviously the believers in Jesus Christ (Lamb), who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and raptured into heaven prior to the Tribulation.
One comforting truth gleaned from Revelation is that although Antichrist will have power over all peoples and languages, he will not deceive every individual. (Verse 9), makes it clear that the preaching of the gospel by the 144,000 Jewish witnesses will reach a multitude that no one can number, from every language, tribe, and people. Therefore, even Satan’s control will not keep people from receiving Christ individually.
This is in accord with the way it has been all during the Christian dispensation. Nations and peoples have rejected Christ, but individuals have received Him (according to John 1).
John 1:10-12 “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
image courtesy: Revelation_7_9 – Faithlife Ministries
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.