The faithful to Jesus Christ get rewarded
What I am about to quote is the twelve tribes of Israel. Many religions have come along and said these Jewish tribes are gentile. God will redeem 144,00 literal Jews and probably send them out into different parts of the world to be evangelists. These Jewish people today do not know what tribe they belong to but God understands where to place them and at what time in history to implement His will and plan. The tribe of Dan and Ephraim will be missing in this list. Dan is missing because, "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward." Genesis 49:17. Ephraim is missing because they were the cause of the civil war in dividing the ten tribes of the north from the two in the south. These tribes also led Israel into sin and idolatry. Levi took the place of Dan and Joseph replaced Ephraim.
"And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Is'ra - el. (5) Of the tribe of Ju'da were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reu'ben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. (6) Of the tribe of A'ser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nep'-tha - lim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Ma - nas'ses were sealed twelve thousand. (7) Of the tribe of Sim'e - on were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Is'sa - char were sealed twelve thousand. (8) Of the tribe of Zab'u - lon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Jo'seph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Ben'ja - min were sealed twelve thousand." Revelation 7:4 -8.
There is a little conjecture on how these 144,000 Jews convert over to Jesus Christ but where the Bible is silent I am just going to continue in this verse by verse study of the book of Revelation. What we do know is they are protected in order to perform a service for God during the day of the Lord.
(9) "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; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (11) 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. (12) Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." Revelation 7: 9 -12.
Who is this group in verses nine and ten? It is the new converts of believers to Jesus Christ in the future seven year tribulation period. In verse eleven we can read that everything is surrounding the throne of God. Very close to the throne are the elders and the four beasts. A huge amount of angels surrounded this whole scene and much praise and worship was given to God. The reason why they were rejoicing was because of the great multitude. Angels, elders and redeemed saints are very tuned into the believer's victories on earth. Some may ask, "In this age of grace does this same group rejoice in our victories? "WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1. They are watching us from heaven to earth, they want us to have victory over our sins through Jesus Christ but we need to understand our race is to be run with patience.
Every opportunity the elders and angels worshipped God. There is rejoicing when one sinner comes to know the Lord. Remember the throne of God would be inaccessible to a sinner were it not for the Mediator who is Jesus Christ. They were clothed with white robes and had palms in their hands as conquerors through Jesus Christ to appear in their triumphs. Those who rejoice in their own salvation through Jesus Christ or observe a victory in a redeemed person/group praise the Lamb and the Father. Angels fell on their faces and worshipped God. If we are a true believer in Christ this is our destiny. We will be worshipping and serving God.
The multitude had palms in their hands. "And ye shall take you on the first day and the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days." Leviticus 23:40. Palm trees and rejoicing in the Lord go hand in hand.
(13) "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? (14) And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (17) 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: 13 - 17.
Notice their robes were washed and made them white in the Lamb. We can not pile up a bunch of good works on our own and have our robes washed and made white in the Lamb. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and our righteounesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6. Even on my very best day this would not be sufficient to allow me into heaven. These martyred saints took their filthy robes and washed them in the blood of Jesus Christ and the end result was white.
God is gracious and rewards His persecuted children with new immortal bodies which all true believers in Christ will receive in heaven. In verse sixteen they do not get hungry, thirsty or get overwhelmingly hot. God is also wiping tears away from their eyes. God is tender with His children.
God will not only give the Jewish people another chance but the results of converting people over to Jesus Christ will be overwhelming. These new believers in Christ will take the message very serious because despite very bad persecution they stay with the Son of God all the way to martyrdom. They will have an unwavering loyalty to Christ and as a result inherit the blessings of eternity. God will still be gracious in His judgment while He is punishing the world.
John did not understand who the group was but one of the elders informed the apostle who this group was (future tense). Remember the lowest created creature in heaven knows more than the highest servant on earth. These martyrs will face horrible things on earth but end up before the throne of God in heaven. We now have desires and senses of want on earth but in heaven all our needs and desires will be overwhelmingly filled. For example if I did not eat all day I might say, "I'm hungry." If we eat in heaven it will be for enjoyment. The sun causing them to be hot seems to be a curse but this does not happen in heaven. If God is wiping away all their tears He is removing their sorrow. In fact their sorrow is turned into rejoicing.
When the elder told the apostle John who this group was (future tense) he said these are the ones that came out of great tribulation. Jesus said, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew 24:21. Their robes were made white in the blood of the Lamb. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:14. This group will not have dead works but will serve the living God. We need to ask ourselves the same question. Are our works dead? Do we serve the living God?
In verse sixteen the Bible says they will not hunger, thirst or suffer from the heat of the sun. The Old Testament says the same thing. "They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them." Isaiah 49:10. Another phrase that catches my eye is in Revelation 7:17. The Lamb of God who is Jesus Christ is feeding them and leading them but one of the most popular verses in the Bible says, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Psalm 23:1.
These future tribulation believers did not just accept Jesus Christ as the true Messiah but they stood fast for Him. Notice how unstable the unbelievers were according to the biblical text (future tense) in that they had murder in their hearts and became terrified of the judgments of God. Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to change our hearts. If you desire to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of God into your life. If you just made that decision abide in Jesus Christ and read the word of God on a daily basis. We receive our instruction on every subject from pray to what the Bible has to say about the future. God bless you Bob D.