Revelation 7:9-17 Part 2
And in chapter number seven, what we see as a break from the seal judgments that’s being poured out on the earth, the four angels stop the wind from blowing on the earth, God hits the pause button, he seals the 144,000 jewish witnesses that have converted to Christianity. And then these jewish witnesses and their evangelistic efforts are displayed by this mass multitude of people that are in Heaven. And that’s what we read about here in Revelation seven and nine to one more time. Would you rise and stand-in honour of God’s word, for our initial and primary reading of it today. After this, I looked and behold a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice. Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb. And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying amen, blessing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor and power, and might be to our God for ever and ever. Amen! Then, one of the elders addressed me, saying: who are these clothed in white robes? And from where have they come? I said to him, sir, you know, and he said to me: these are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have 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 shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more. The sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat, for the lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. You may be seated. So, as this text does, we want to take a look at this multitude and what this particular chapter is covering about this multitude. And what we see in this is eight details that we want to discuss now. We covered three of the eight last week. Those were the description of these individuals, their location and their action that they are taking we will cover the rest. Today we want to talk about their association, their origination, the function of these multitudes, the protection of them and the provision of them. So in order to cover this, first we need to look at association and we need to go back to verses 11 and 12 to see that, and it says, and all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying amen, blessing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving and honor and power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen. What has just happened before? This is what we talked about last week, and that is that this multitude is worshipping the one who was seated on the throne, and what happens is that their worship is so contagious that the angels join in. So the humans initiate the process, and then the angels join in. And as we talked about last week, when you become a follower of Christ, everything that you do is now expected to be a worship. Act unto the Lord. And if you live your life in such a way that a song lyric writer could set down and write down the summary of your life into a song, would it sounds like a worship song. Well, what happens is whenever you live your life in such a way that it draws worship and attention onto the cross, it causes other people to look upon the cross and sometimes worship him also, and that’s what we see here. Well, you see happening in verses 11 and 12, as these multitudes are singing out to God, the heavenly host respond by doing the same. Now think about this for a moment. These angels are holy, blameless, righteous heavenly beings. Yet it’s the humans that cry out in worship. First, now what are they singing about? Salvation, something the angels have never experienced because they haven’t needed to be saved. They’ve never sinned, they’ve never fallen if anyone, knows the depths of the worship due to God for salvation. It’s this multitude, and even though these are individuals that have come to Christ out of the great tribulation, they really are, you and I as well. If anybody knows how to worship God for salvation, it’s you and I. And, as these humans sing out, the angels in the heavenly host bow in worship and they say: Amen now, who does amen mean? It’s not just a way to close every christian prayer and basically tell everybody I’m done. It’s let all these things be true. Why? Because our God saves, and this multitude is saying: our God saves, and then the angels say they’re right. Men, it’s all true, we worship too. In this moment, unworthy sinners. They are now saints clothed in righteousness, but their former state as unworthy sinners are worshiping freely in the presence of these holy angels in the holy courts of God before the throne. Now put yourself in the shoes of the angels. Think about for a second if you are one of these amazing, perfect creatures in your presence, in the presence of the living God and before the throne. There they are former rebels, former followers of Satan. They may have not put horns on and went to devil parties, but they were worshipping Satan with their sin. This multitude of people standing in the midst of the Angels that, if we were saved during the great tribulation, would represent us as well, this multitude. They committed treason against the Kingdom of God, and yet here they are. Their mere presence is astounding, considering their former state. By all accounts of justice, they should be in cuffs and chains and honestly burning in Hell. There’s no reason why these individuals guilty of treason should be in the presence of these holy angels or more or less in the presence of God before the throne. Consider, if you will, this scenario, let’s say you are goody-two-shoe. You are just a perfect little citizen. How many of you would say that’s me? No hands! All right. So we tell the truth today, perfect little citizen, you never been in prison, you never went to jail, you never got a speeding ticket, you never got a parking ticket, you’re a rule follower. You’ve always done. Just imagine for a second, that’s you. You always did what your parents wanted, you got A’s, just stick to your little zone and you’ve never done anything wrong. You’ve never broken any laws and you’ve never listened to Nickelback. Just imagine for a second. That’s you and you’re at church, worshipping in your Sunday best. And all of a sudden a local prison brings in 25 convicts, maximum security, convicts, individuals that have broken the most heinous of laws, murder, rape, trafficking, everything that you can imagine, and they bring these 25 individuals, not in cuffs and their gray or their orange, whatever they wear, into the sanctuary and they seat them right here on the front row. And somehow you were guaranteed that you were safe. They were saved, they just wanted to worship and that your kids were safe. Somehow you were guaranteed they were not going to harm you. I don’t care how non judgmental you think you are, I don’t care how much right now, when they’re not in our presence, you would be like. That would be amazing. You would be uncomfortable and the few of you that would actually stay in the room. You definitely won’t bring your kids in right. The gap between these offenders of the highest degree and the common citizen that hasn’t even gotten a parking ticket, that’s a big gap. Right makes us feel uncomfortable. But now, if you think that’s bad, if you think that’s bad, think of the difference between these sinners and these angels and these heavenly hosts. I haven’t committed murder. Josh, I haven’t committed adultery. I haven’t done all these things. Here’s the deal. You’ve committed treason against the Kingdom of God. God’s standard is holy, perfect moral law. We’ve loved things more than God. We’ve created graven images onto his name. We’ve blasphemed his name. We’ve not kept the Sabbath holy. We’ve not honoured our father and our mother. We have lied, we have stolen, we have cheated, we have done, we have broke every single one of God’s laws and just the Pharisees are walking around and going. No, I’m upholding the law. And Jesus said: oh yeah, you got anger in your heart towards your brother. You broke the law of murder because you committed murder in your heart. You got lust over somebody where you committed adultery in your heart. You’ve broken the law because it’s a matter of the heart, not the flesh broken, every single one of them. Multiple times, we have committed treason against the Kingdom of God. We have blasphemed the name of a holy God. And there they are you think it would be uncomfortable for a group of high level, high maximum security convicts to walk-in the room and sit in the middle of a church sanctuary? Think about us as sinners, the ultimate rebels and enemies of God at one point standing in the most holy arena in all creation. That speaks to God’s mercy and his forgiving power, because there ain’t a thing we have done or will ever do. That earns us a right to stand-in the presence of holiness. And there we are. It matters the value of what you commit an offense against. You can go to used car lot with a bunch of rundown vehicles and you can key a car that cost $1200 that’s not good. You’re going to get in trouble for that, but let’s say, on the flip side, you go to an expensive car lot and you key Lamborghini. The justice system is going to take more from you, because the value of the thing that you committed a sin against is higher. Therefore your sin is higher. So when we sin against the holy God who is of infinite value, our treason is of the highest degree, because the value of the thing of which we sinned against, you can’t put a value on God. He’s infinitely valuable in this arena. Are these perfect holy angels and these multitudes? Now they’re holy. Now they’re holy, saying, as they’ve been imputed with righteousness, they’ve been given white robes. They’ve been accredited with the work that Jesus did, even though they did none of it. They received it by faith. They’re there together, in the presence now. What if you were one of these angels? Why do you let these dirty scoundrel rebels in the House of God? We’ve been here the whole time. We’ve been holy. We. We didn’t let sin taint us. We didn’t commit treason against God. Why would you let them in? We deserve to be here. They don’t sounds a lot like the prodigal son’s older brother, doesn’t it? But the angels don’t respond this way they had every right too. They were there the whole time. They didn’t they didn’t fall, they didn’t go with the demons, they didn’t go with the humans, they didn’t fall, but yet in this moment they’re not focusing on the fact that the humans don’t deserve to be there. They rejoice and join in with worship, because they know just the mere fact that those humans that are there points to God’s mercy and that he has a heart to save: they rejoice in the salvation of these humans. Let’s look at the origination. Verses 13 and 14. Then one of the elders addressed me, saying: who are these clothed in white robes? And from where have they come? And I said to him: sir, you know, and he said to me: these are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. Now the elder asked this question, not because he doesn’t know, but because he wants John’s hearers to know who they are. Because it’s significant, John’s response is one of ignorance. He truly doesn’t know who they are, but this elder does, and and John sort of lobs the question back to him and says: you know who they are. Can you clarify for us and he does? This elder then reveals that these are individuals that have come to know Christ during the great tribulation? They’re wearing white robes, forgiven of their sin, washed in the blood of the Lamb, blood of the Lamb. Why blood? Why all this talk about the blood of Jesus, the blood of Christ, the blood of the Lamb? Doesn’t it seem a little strange to be talking about blood all the time? Is it not strange that when we receive the Lord’s supper, we do so by receiving the drink element as a symbol of Christ’s blood? Well, it’s not strange at all. It’s actually a key to understanding the Gospel. Blood is the life source of all living beings. How many of you blood makes you a little uncomfortable like you see it, and you pass out, a couple of you raising your hands down here, but you’re there. Blood is the life source of all human beings. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin are what death? Death, because that’s just how bad sin is. That’s how bad sin is a person that commits heinous crimes. Sometimes people demand their lives in exchange for it and the death penalty right. That’s exactly what this is. A just and holy God is demanding the life of the guilty. You sin, you die, but even then it’s not really enough payment, because the blood of the one that’s dying is tainted. It’s not the blood of the innocent, it’s the blood of the guilty. It takes the spilling of a innocent blood for the guilty to truly find restoration. In the old testament, sacrifices of innocent livestock were made as part of the sacrificial system. The blood of these livestock was not sufficient to cover our sin. It wasn’t the bull, it wasn’t the sheep, it wasn’t it wasn’t these things, it wasn’t the sacrifice of these things. They were actually forgiving people of their sin. Rather, it was being obedient to the law of God, and it was all foreshadowing the lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. It was all pointing to the cross. It was a way for people practically to show their sorrow for their sin and pay some sort of price, because you couldn’t bring, you couldn’t bring your hobbled lamb. That was of no good to you on the farm, you had to bring your spotless lamb. That was the best. Well, in the New New Testament, Jesus becomes the innocent God in the flesh because he is both God and man simultaneously. At the same time, he was divine in nature and then he added to his nature man, human nature. Now he’s both. It is the only formula that will satisfy both the justice of God and provide an offering that is sufficient to forgive the sin of those who come to God in faith through Jesus Christ, because only a man can die for the sins of Man and Jesus comes in the flesh as a man, but only God can withstand. Only God can live this life without sin and withstand the wrath of God for sin. So he’s divine also. Only the combination of a God man can actually satisfy the justice system. So, being in the nature of God, he has escaped the grasp of the curse of sin passed down from Adam through the bloodline, as he was supernaturally born without carrying the bloodline of Adam. He also is the only one capable of living a sinless life and positioning himself to be the lone recipient of God’s wrath for all those who would believe now. He didn’t cheat, he was tempted in every way that we were, yet he was without sin. He did not tap into his divine abilities to to to stay away from sin. Yet he knew the truth and he resisted being in the nature of man. He becomes the priest that can in every way relate to the struggles of man on earth. He can see the struggle against temptation because he faced it, he faces the challenges and the limitations of the flesh. He endures the trials of humanity, all while being preserved from any fall or any containment of any sin. Now, as both God and Man, two natures combined into one, in Christ, Jesus, he goes to the cross to end a long search for the one who would take away the sin of the world. His blood, his life source, becomes incredibly precious as it is the only blood that is innocent and has not been seeded with corruption. It is perfect, it is divine and it is the one piece that satisfies God’s justice system. Now, why would God demand the blood of Jesus? Why couldn’t he just call everything off? You walk into a courtroom and a judge lets a murderer go free and just says we’ll just forget about it and there’s no penalty and there’s no cost. You wouldn’t call that judge just. He would be unjust and corrupt. So why then do we put the same expectation on God? God is a just God. In order for him to remain faithful to his character, he must punish sin, but think thankful to God that through Jesus Christ, he provides a way out. He doesn’t just leave us in our sin, but he provides a means by which we can be saved through the blood of Christ. This is the Gospel. This is God buying back his creation, his sons and his daughters back from the dead and performing a resurrection, bringing them back to life. We were dead in our trespasses and sin, and what can a dead man do? We were dead in our trespasses and sin, and Christ resurrects us back into adopting into the family of God because of what Jesus did for us by spilling his blood on the cross. It was the penalty that was paid, Matthew, chapter 26, verse 28, for this is my blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for the many for the forgiveness of sins acts chapter 20, verse 28. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to care for the Church of God, which he obtained with his own blood Romans chapter three, verse 25, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins, Romans, chapter five, verse nine. Since therefore we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall be saved by him from the wrath of God Ephesians chapter one, verse seven. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace, Ephesians chapter two, verse 13. But now in Christ, Jesus, you, who once were far-off have been brought near by the blood of Christ Colossians. Chapter one, verse 20, and through him, to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in Heaven, making peace by the blood of his Cross, the scriptures speak to the importance of the blood of Jesus. I speak to this because it’s so important. I attended a church briefly. It was didn’t really attend it, I was church shopping when we moved to Springfield and this pastor. Remove the reference of the word blood from all hymns, from all songs and even in the scriptures, when they would read the scriptures, they would not say blood. They would replace it with another word because it was offensive to to, to people that that are that are trying to win to Christ. No, we have to talk about the blood. The blood of Christ covers our sin, it’s precious and it was the thing that was spilled out for our forgiveness and our atonement, the function. Verse 15. Therefore: they are before the throne of God and they serve him day and night in his Temple, these individuals as it was, and it will be with all of us, we now have a function in Heaven to serve in the presence of God, day and night, the word service. Here in the original language of the New Testament, which is greek, is leutreo and it means a service of worship. It is our service, our duty, to worship God in Heaven, Romans, chapter 12, verse one, that doesn’t just start in Heaven it starts now. I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies, as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. If you don’t enjoy worship now, you aren’t going to like Heaven, because it’s what we do. The next level is protection. In verse 15, and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. These saints again as it will be with. All of us, will never be in danger again. The God whom we worship at his throne will protect us. Day and night. We see their provision in verses 16 and 17. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more. The sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat, for the lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And this is so good. This really almost perfectly mirrors an old Testament passage. Isaiah, chapter 49, verse ten. They shall not hunger or thirst. Neither scorching wind nor sun will strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them and by springs of water will guide them. Have you ever been hungry, hungry. Maybe you’re that now, and you’re looking at me and thinking wrap this up bro. Flat creek is calling my name. How many of you don’t don’t raise your hand on this is rhetorical question. But I wonder if any of you have ever been hungry, not because you are a few minutes late to lunch, hungry because you went to the cupboard and the cupboard was pretty dry. How many have you been so thirsty? You just kind of reminds you that the Bible text is just like just put a drop of water on my my tongue. Have you ever been that thirsty I like sleeping with a fan? I don’t like sleeping with a flan. I like sleeping with a fan, and the other night I turned around and the fan was blowing right in my face the whole night. I didn’t realize it and I was sleeping with my mouth open. Apparently, and I woke up my mouth was so dry, it was like crazy. Is that of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. Have you ever been sunburnt, scorched by the sun? Let me tell you a story for my fair weather, fair-skinned people like myself. One time I was, it was just out of high school and we were down at the lake with some friends and no one had ever told me. I went through 13 years of school and I knew how to do algebraic equations, I knew how I knew chemistry. I knew all these things that I’ve honestly never used, but no one ever told me that UV rays go through clouds. No one ever told me that. So we’re out of Big Hill, Lake, Parsons, Kansas and me and my friends hang out for 12 hours. No sun protection because the sun wasn’t out in the middle just all day long. Just having a blast, I got cooked like a turkey on Thanksgiving. It was horrible, it was torture. It burned me so deep that when it started healing, you know how you start itching. It got to the muscle, and so my muscles started contracting and having like cramps while it was healing. Awful! How many of you when you walk out in the sun on a sunny day in the middle of summer, you’re like? Nope, I’m going to turn around and go back inside. This thing’s going to roast me really fast, anybody with me! There’s no golden shades of brown that you turn it’s white and red, white and red. Our mortal bodies when we go to Heaven will never be in torment from the physical and spiritual elements of earthly life and, most importantly, they will never be subject to the torments of the tribulation. And neither will we be subject to the fires of Hell. Never! If you know Jesus Christ as your saviour, all the suffering in this life that you’re enduring right now goes away. It’s so short-term and it’s so short-lived what is that thing right now in your life that you can’t wait to say good bye too. I want to shift your thinking and take it off of your earthly focus. We get so focused on earthly things, don’t got enough money to pay my bills, don’t get enough. Gas is going to be twice as much this winter. How am I going to afford that? This person’s driving me crazy, this suffering, this illness, this sickness, this tribulation, and we get so focused and listen. There’s a lot of trials that are big deals. But what is the thing? What are the things you’re ready to say goodbye to when you enter into Heaven? Our focus has to be about heavenly things. When we’re focused on, Heaven we will be focused on bringing as many people with us as we possibly can. By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of you sitting beside you have a piece of paper and there should be a pen there. Hopefully you have not used it to scribble on the entire service. When you are not listening to me, here’s what I want you to do: a little exercise for you. I want you to write down the thing in your life right now that can’t wait to say good bye to when you enter eternity. Maybe it’s sickness, maybe it’s death, maybe it’s suffering poverty. Maybe it’s sin. What is that thing in your life? You can’t wait to say good bye to and if you’re sitting here going, I can’t think of just one. Write em all down, write em all down because there’s coming today and listen. All of us are going to, all of us have the guarantee of death, but I’m hoping maybe there’s some of us in this room that we will even get to escape death, because Jesus will come back before them an it’s comin quick. It is coming fast like a fireball. What’s that thing you’re looking forward to getting rid of. Do You guys, get the point, then, why we walking around with our heads in the dumps all the time Jesus Christ spilled his blood on the cross to pull you out of that garbage. Why we still living in it I say that with love? Because it’s time for us to look at at Heaven. That’s our new home. And yeah, we’re just passing through right now. We ain’t there yet, but we have this rare opportunity right now to where we get to worship God in the middle of the junk. You ain’t never goin to get this opportunity again. You’ve go to Heaven and everything’s perfect, but never again will you have an opportunity to do something even the angels have never been able to do, to worship God in the middle of suffering. And we have got to stop burying our heads in the sand like like some silly what’s the animal that does that ostriches up to Heaven and looking upon the cross, said what Jesus has done, the precious blood that was spilled for the forgiveness of our sins. What are we doing? Burying our heads in the sand of work and toil and all these things, lift your head up and look because your salvation draws nigh. And why are we walking around like a bunch of depressed fools? Because the enemy has convinced you that you have no hope. And I’m here to tell you that you have all the hope in the world and all you’ve got to do is take your eyes off of all the junk And the garbage and put it on to Jesus Christ. This is not in my notes, so I’m going to pull some scripture out here: Hebrews 12. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every way and sin which clings so easily, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God in all matters of eternity you, this is your life, it is but a breeze, it is but a whisper, it is but a vapour and we got a lot of work to do and there ain’t no time to be walking around. Oh woe’s me, it’s time to pick ourselves up, look upon the cross and say: we got work to do in our eternity. We’re going to be standing before the throne church in Heaven. It’s not boring, it’s exciting and it’s going to be. The most amazing thing that you have ever seen ever it is going to blow all the facilities you have so much to look forward to. And why are you living your life the way you are? We are going to be there very soon. Some of you young people, you live a long, fruitful life and maybe 60-70 years, eight years. But listen, that’s a very short time in comparison to eternity, very short time. How many of you all know that’s been around for a little bit. It goes by really fast, really fast. We got work to do. It’s time to get our head out of the sand. Stop looking at all our problems and look because our redemption draweth nigh. Do you have redemption? I want to make sure you have redemption. The blood of Jesus was spilled for you for your sin. Receive it by faith. There’s no formula, there’s no special prayer, there’s no. There’s no fill out this card and all this. Receive Jesus today by faith and all your sin is washed away. Submit to him as Lord and Saviour, because he is good and he is faithful. Let’s pray!