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After this I saw, and, behold, a great crowd, so great that none could count its number, drawn from every race and from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palms in their hands. And they shouted with a great voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated upon the throne, and to the Lamb.’

The Glory will be worth all suffering. There will be hard times but it will be worth it. The number who make it will be too many to count. This number will be beyond our imagination. The people will be from every race, tribe, people and tongue. There is hope for people from different backgrounds and communities! The faithful arrive in victory before the Lord. The white rove is the sign of victory The palm is also the sign of victory. The shout declares that the salvation belongs to God. It is God who has brought them through. It is His glory that they now share. This salvation does not make life easy but makes it great!

It is not part of the Christian hope to look for a life in which we are saved from all trouble and distress; the Christian hope is that in Christ we can endure any kind of trouble and distress, remain upright throughout, and come out to glory on the other side. Barclay, W.


And all the angels stood in a circle round the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell upon their faces before the throne, and worshipped God, saying: ‘So let it be. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength belong to our God forever and forever. Amen.’

The picture is of a series of great circles one inside another, made up of the inhabitants of heaven. On the outer ring stand all the angels. Nearer the throne are the twenty-four elders; still nearer are the four living creatures; and in front of the throne are the white-robed martyrs. The martyrs have just sung their shout of praise to God, and the angels take that song of praise and make it their own. Then they sing their own song of praise; and every word in it is meaningful. They ascribe blessing to God; ‘You have made us and we are yours; They ascribe glory to God. we must never forget the majesty of God. They ascribe wisdom to God. God is the source of all truth, the giver of all knowledge. They offer thanksgiving to God. God is the giver of salvation and the constant provider of grace; They ascribe honour to God. God is to be worshipped. They ascribe power to God. God works his purposes out and in the end his kingdom will come. They ascribe strength to God. Every Christian can say: ‘I will go in the strength of the Lord.’ It is a great exercise to meditate on the praise of the angels and incorporate that into our praise of Jesus!

And one of the elders said to me: ‘Do you know who these are who are clothed in white robes and where they came from?’ I said to him: ‘Sir, you know.’ He said to me: ‘These are they who are coming out of the great tribulation, and who have washed their robes, and have made them white through the power of the blood of the Lamb.’
This passage speaks of the blood of the Lamb. The New Testament has much to say about the blood of Jesus Christ. When the New Testament speaks about the blood of Jesus Christ, it means not only his death but his life and death. The blood of Christ stands for all Christ did for us and means for us in his life and in his death. With that in our minds, let us see what the New Testament says about that blood. It is the blood of Jesus Christ which is cleansing us from all sin (). It is the blood of Jesus Christ which makes atonement for us () It is through his blood that we are justified (). It is through his blood that we have redemption (), It is with the blood that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ like that of a lamb without blemish and without spot (). It is through his blood that we have peace with God (). It is his blood that purges our conscience from dead works to serve the living God ().
The blood of Christ in the present gives people here and now, a new and intimate relationship with God, in which fear is gone and in which love holds us together.
This blood of Christ in the future frees people from the power of evil and enables them to live a new life in the time to come.
That is why they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will spread the covering of his glory over them.
There is a very significant fact hidden here. Serving God day and night was part of the task of the Levites and the priests (). Now, those who are in front of the throne of God in this vision are, as we have already seen in verse 9, drawn from every race and tribe and people and language. Here is a picture of heaven with the barriers down. Distinctions of race and of status no longer exist; the way into the presence of God is open to every faithful soul. No Jew would hear the word Greek word translated “covering of his glory over them” without thinking of shechinah; thus the real meaning of the passage is that God’s blessed ones would serve and live in the radiance of his glory. It can be the same on earth.
Those who faithfully work and witness for God always have the glory of God shining on their work.
They will not hunger any more, nor will they thirst any more; the sun will not fall on them, nor any heat; because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There is spiritual promise here, the promise of the ultimate satisfying of the hunger and the thirst of the human soul. This is a promise which occurs again and again in the New Testament, and especially in the words of Jesus. ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled’ (). Jesus said: ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’ (). ‘Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life’ (). Jesus said: ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink’ (). The promise of this passage is that the end of the world’s hunger, the world’s pain and the world’s sorrow is in Christ. It is not only the Spiritual meaning that Jesus will answer but also the physical meaning! We do well to remember that John found the origin of this passage in the words of Isaiah: ‘They shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them’ (). Old Testament finding its perfect fulfillment in JC.
Here is the promise of the loving care of the Divine Shepherd for his flock. The picture of the shepherd is something in which both the Old and New Testaments delight. ‘The Lord is my shepherd’, begins the best-loved of all the psalms (). Another begins: ‘O Shepherd of Israel’ (). Isaiah pictures God feeding his flock like a shepherd, holding the lambs in his arms and carrying them in his bosom (). The greatest title that the prophet can give to the messianic king is shepherd of his people (, ). This was the title that Jesus took for himself. ‘I am the good shepherd’ (, ). Peter calls Jesus the shepherd and guardian of our souls (), and the writer to the Hebrews speaks of him as that great shepherd of the sheep (). Here we have the two great functions of the Divine Shepherd. He leads to fountains of living waters. As the psalmist had it: ‘He leads me beside still waters’ (). ‘With you is the fountain of life’ (). Without water, the flock would perish; and in Palestine the wells were few and far between. That the Divine Shepherd leads to wells of water is the symbol that he gives us the things without which life cannot survive. He wipes the tear from every eye. As he nourishes our bodies, so he also comforts our hearts; without the presence and the comfort of God, the sorrows of life would be unbearable, and without the strength of God there are times in life when we could never go on. The Divine Shepherd gives us nourishment for our bodies and comfort for our hearts. With Jesus Christ as shepherd, nothing can happen to us which we cannot bear.
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