“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.” Revelation 7:14
OK, of all times to be reading Revelation, I would NOT have chosen it to be now. But it wasn’t my choice as to when we would read these books, it was God’s. Some of you may be familiar with the lunar events set to happen starting this week, but some of you may not. I am not entirely familiar with them, but I am familiar with the word of God, and the times, they are a-changin’.
On April 15th, of all dates, there will be the first of four blood moons over the next 18 months. Each of these moon will be visible in Jerusalem and will appear on Jewish holidays (this first one is Passover). Now while this has happened before with somewhat unpleasant results, there have never been four in eighteen months with a solar eclipse in the center. In today’s reading we saw:
“When He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that it being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” (Revelation 6:12-14)
Matthew 24:29 says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” [Read Matthew 24 & 25 for more.]
Next in Revelation and the events that take place after the signs in the heavens, we read in chapter seven about an “angel descending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea saying, ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:” (Revelation 7:2-4)
At this point revelation rolled over me in a wave of hopelessness. “Lord, 144,000 are so few in comparison to the entire population of the world! I want to be one of those sealed… but there is absolutely no way I could ever earn something like that.” I was crushed because I knew I was right. There is absolutely positively nothing that I can say or do to earn the privilege of being sealed and protected from the trouble that is to befall our planet.
Verse 5-8 is a list; the list of how many people from each of the tribes of Israel will be sealed. There will be 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes. The seals are for the Jews, the pure bloodline of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And there goes the last of my hope for a seal of salvation from tribulation. I’m not Jewish.
Buuuut, verse 9-10 says: “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!'”
Who is this great multitude that no one could number, from EVERY tribe, people and nation? “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.” Revelation 7:14
IT’S THE CHURCH!
While I know a good deal about the Bible, I certainly do NOT claim to be an expert of any kind. Especially when it comes to the book I avoid the most – Revelation. However, according to what I recall David Jeremiah preaching about this passage of scripture, from this point forward there is no mention of the church on Earth.
There are MANY speculations of “The Rapture” as most refer to it. But, in Matthew 24 Jesus explains it like this, “Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.” Wouldn’t the “unexplainable” sudden disappearance of a “great multitude” of people from all over the globe cause the greatest tribulation imaginable? There’s no detective alive that would be able to come up with any natural clue as to how it happened or why.
In Luke 21:36 (NKJV) we read the words of Jesus, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
There is hope my friend.
“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 anymore, 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.” Revelation 7:15-17
“He who sits on the throne will shelter them with His presence.” We may not have His seal on our foreheads, but we’ve got something MUCH better. We’ve got His blood on our hearts. We have His Holy Spirit as a seal IN us. At this very moment, we are being protected in the best and most complete way possible, from whatever tribulation comes our way, colossal or minute.
We’re covered by the blood of the Lamb!
Hosanna to our crucified and risen King! 😀
Happy Palm Sunday.