Summary: Description of heaven's parade

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1. What: A great multitude approaches (parade) God. “These are they which came” (7:14).

2. Question: One of the elders saw a great multitude in heaven and asks, “What are these who are arrayed in white robes?” (7: 13).

3. How are they dressed? “Clothed with white robes” (2:9), Purity.

4. What are they holding? “They stood before the throne . . . palms in their hands praising God.”

5. When did this take place?

a. A calm before the Tribulation. “The wind should not blow on the earth . . . an angel saying . . . ‘Hurt not the earth and the sea’” (7:1-2).

b. End of the Tribulation. “Come out of the great tribulation” (7:14).

c. The middle of the Tribulation. After these martyrs are honored Jesus opened the 7th seal and, there will be silence in heaven about the space of half an hour (8:1).

6. Who are these people?

a. They may be martyrs and those persecuted for their faith throughout history. The 144,000 is symbolic of a perfect number of Old Testament saints. The numberless multitudes are the New Testament saints.

b. They may have been killed for their faith during the Tribulation (7 years) by the three forces who persecute God’s people, (1) satan, (2) antichrist, (3) unbelieving nations.

7. Why are they martyrs?

a. Their robes are washed in the blood of the Lamb (7:14).

b. They suffered (7:16)

c. God wipes away their tears (v. 17).

8. Why are there only 11 tribes of Israel, i.e., Dan is left out.

a. Dan was a rebellious tribe who fought the 11 tribes (Judges 17-21).

b. Some think Judas Iscariot came from Dan. The tribe of Dan and Judas Iscariot apostatized.

9. How many have died for their faith?

a. The Old Testament 144,000 is symbolic number (too many to count).

b. The New Testament number is “a great multitude.” “I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb” (7:9).

10. What is the response of the martyrs? A loud shout. “And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” (7:10).

11. What is missing? They are not complaining or concerned with their loss. Their future is focused on Jesus.

12. What is the response of the rest of the Old Testament and New Testament believers? “They sang, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen’” (7:12).

13. One elder asked why they had white robes. Because they were “washed in the blood of the Lamb.” They gave their blood because Jesus shed His blood.

14. What special reward do these martyrs receive?

a.They stand before God’s throne day and night (7:15). Will they stand closer to God than others? Probably.

b.They serve (worship) God day and night.

c. God will live among this special group (7:15).

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