Chapter 7

The 144,000 are Sealed -2

v.9-17 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, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 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. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

This passage seems to be a leap forward in time.

In the previous passage, John watched one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed in preparation for tribulation service, whereas here he sees a great multitude worshiping in heaven that have come out of great tribulation. Why does John record one group sealed prior to the great tribulation and then suddenly a second group clearly having endured the great tribulation? I believe it’s because the two groups are indelibly linked. Whereas, the earlier group was designated to preach the gospel during the tribulation, this second group represents those who will hear the preaching, and are saved because of it.

These tribulation saints are adorned in white robes to signify the righteousness of Christ and waving palm branches as a symbol of victory. Moreover, considering the great suffering which these saints must endure in the tribulation, it’s fitting that they get the assurance that Christ will eternally dwell among them; that they shall neither hunger nor thirst anymore, nor be stroke by the sun or any heat; and that God wipe away every tear from their eyes.