Sermon 3403. The Multitude Before the Throne
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 1914.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"After this Ibeheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of allnations, tribes, people and tongues stoodbefore the Throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, and cried with a loud voice, saying,Salvation to our God which sits upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb." Revelation 7:9,10.
IT seems as though a dash of wonderment thrilled through his soul and a flame of admiration burst from his tongue, when Johnexclaims, "After this I beheld, and lor He had already seen much. His attention was fixed. His thoughts were strained. Allof a sudden, then, a fresh scene breaks on his view and he betrays his surprise. At what, you say? Evidently he was astonishedthat the vision was not yet complete. Ah, Brothers and Sisters! In order to understand the deep things of God, we need tobe patient in our contemplation. Had John turned away his eyes, relaxed his study, or withdrawn his gaze from the marvelouspanorama, he would not have seen the better part of his vision! As a Jew, when he had seen the twelve tribes pass before him,he might have been tempted to say, "It is enough! There is a remnant according to the election of Grace in Israel! Lord, Yourservant is content! I would now open my eyes again to earth and forget these mysteries." This is what many have done practicallywhen they have been looking at a Gospel Truth. They have not been desirous to see it all, though glad enough to see some partof the Truth of God which seemed to suit their prejudice-they have taken their eyes away from the excellent glory before theyhave seen the whole of the Truth, as though they were afraid of discovering too much, as though they were always glad notto learn anything beyond, for fear it would not square with what they had learned before! John, however, being patient andtaught of God, continued to look-and when the august assembly of the 144,000 had passed before him, he saw a far greater multitudeof the Gentile race and he heard from them a louder song than he had heard from the chosen multitude before, as they said,"Salvation to our God who sits upon the Throne and unto the Lamb." Be steadfast, then, you searchers into the Truths of God.Look long! Look earnest! Ask the Lord to let you see as much as you may. Then that petition being granted, comfort yourselveswith this reflection, "What you know not now you shall know hereafter." Some things He will not tell you because you cannotbear them now, but let there be nothing hid from you because your interest flags and you do not wish to see it! Be willingto learn and let your eyes be open to see the whole of the Truth which Jesus would reveal. Turning, then, to the vision describedin our text, the first thing in it that we ought to meditate upon is-
I. THE GREAT CENTER OF THE HEAVENLY WORLD.
It seems that all the saints and angels that John saw surrounded one common rallying place-the Throne of God and of the Lamb.They were not broken up into groups, some of them considering this subject, and others investigating that. They were not dividedinto parties, some calling themselves by one name, and some by another. All in one group they stood, though their number wasbeyond all human count, and every eye was directed to one common object-yes, and every heart went with every eye-and everytongue sounded the same song, and that a song of adoration to the same One who was the center of all!
Does not this teach us that God is the very center of Heaven We might have guessed this, for He is center of all the new creation.Even now all those that are born-again live in Him, inheriting all the blessings of eternal life in their union to Christ,and their fellowship with Him. From Him they derive all their light-to Him and upon Him they reflect all the light, again,giving all the glory unto Him from whom they received all the Grace. He who built Heaven, He who supports Heaven, He who choseevery inhabitant in Heaven, He who fashioned every inhabitant for Heaven, He who bought every inhabitant of Heaven with Hisprecious blood, He who is the Father of all and the Friend of all, may well be the center of all joy, of all observation,and of all worship in the eternal world!
Note, however, particularly, that the center of the heavenly worship is not God in the act of Creation, but God upon the Throne.Divine Sovereignty is the very center of Heaven! John saw God on the Throne. Here, below, if we speak upon
Divine Sovereignty too plainly, we have to encounter the objections of many who pronounce it a hard saying and ask "Who canbear it?" That the Potter shall have power over the clay to do as He wills with each lump, that He should have mercy uponwhom He will have mercy, and do as He wills with His own, grates harshly on their ears! I know it is because hearts are hardupon earth, for in that place where every heart is right with God, they are all too glad to let Him sway the scepter. Thisis the very crown of their song-"The Lord God Omnipotent reigns." His will is their supreme delight. They understand thatHis will, despotic as it may seem, and unquestioned by any creature, is a will of mercy, of tenderness, of wisdom, of holiness,and of truth! Therefore, they pay their adorations to Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. This is a peculiar subject oftheir joy-that God has a Throne, that He sits upon it and that He rules over all things, and all things do His bidding. Thecentral thought of Heaven, then, is Divine Sovereignty.
You will remark that we are told there was also the Lamb upon the Throne-as if to teach us that even in Heaven, the gloryof the reigning God, working all things according to the counsels of His will, were a sight all too bright even for thosepure spirits, unless they saw side by side with Him the Substitute, the Lamb of God! They see Jesus still under the form ofa Sin-Bearer, Jesus represented by the symbolic emblem of a Lamb, a Lamb that had been slain, Jesus the Sufferer, Jesus theCrucified, Jesus who once died for sin and has forever put it away by His blood. Oh, my Brothers and Sisters, how I love thesetwo doctrines as I see them side by side-God, a Sovereign, makes me tremble-Christ, the Lamb, makes me rejoice with trembling!God, a Sovereign, overawes me! I take off my shoes, like Moses at the burning bush, but the Lamb has a voice that bids medraw near and have fellowship even with the God who is a consuming fire!
Oh, how much this ought to be the object of our thoughts on earth, seeing that it is the main object of their thoughts inHeaven! We have often heard statements made by persons of what they mean to do in Heaven. I read in a biography the otherday of one who had not told another person certain feelings of his, as he meant to tell them in the other world. Believe me,we shall have something better to do than discourse of trifles in that upper sphere! We may even dismiss that stanza of Dr.Watts-
"And with transporting joy, recount The labors of our feet"
It is but a poetic fiction! What are "the labors of our feet" that they should engross our attention? The reigning God willabsorb our thoughts! How we can serve Him, the Supreme, will occupy our minds! The Lamb who once upon the Cross was slain,but now upon His Throne does reign-how we can make the universe resound with His praises, how we can fly at His bidding, ifHe wills, from world to world, and proclaim the matchless story of His love! How we may be able to make known to angels, principalitiesand powers in the heavenly places the manifold wisdom of God-this, it seems to me, will engross our attention far more thanany of the trifling circumstances of time, or any of the occurrences that were connected with our pilgrimage here below! Oh,dear Brothers and Sisters, let us, while we are sojourning on earth, keep God upon the Throne uppermost in our hearts andso school ourselves in heavenly contemplation. Let us keep Christ uppermost with us in our meditations, in our conversationsand in our actions. Let us be God's men! Let us be Christ's men! God upon the Throne, Christ the Lamb upon the Throne-letthis be our central attraction. Let us count it to be our pleasure to live here, as it will be our superlative pleasure tolive forever hereafter, as worshippers who do homage before the Throne of God and the Lamb! We have seen the Divine Center,now, let us carefully mark- II. THE DIVINE CIRCLE-the living throng that surrounded the Throne of God.
They are mentioned as "a multitude that no man can number." This leads me to remark-although I cannot find words to fitlyexpress the thought-that I will call it the sociality of God. He was God over all, blessed forever, self-existent, independent,needing no creature to assist Him, or to add to His Glory or His happiness. But He chose to create worlds-how many we cannever guess. The revelations of astronomy seem to tell us that He made them as lavishly as men might cast seed when they sowit broadcast over many acres. There they glitter in the expanse of space, and for all we know, every one of them filled withhappy beings! We cannot tell. But God would not be alone. He willed not to be alone. He delighted in the habitable parts ofthe worlds that He chose to make. If you confine your view but to this world, you may discern that He would not be alone.He made this planet. He fitted it up to be the abode of living creatures. The Divine Being has been pleased to create allsorts and forms of beauty and of life-from the tiny animalcule that finds an ocean in a drop of water, up to the leviathanthat makes the very deep to boil like a pot and causes the waves thereof to be hoary with his mighty lashings. God was pleasedto make the eagle to fly aloft in the heavens and the fish to cut the deep. All these creatures He has fed for many generations.Upon all these He looks with interest and compassion. He hears the young ravens when they cry. What a boundless Creation!If every separate world that He has made has such an amazing catalog of life, what multitudes of creatures now cluster roundabout the great Eternal One! He dwelt alone,but He chose not to be alone. And now He has built His house and filled His mightychambers with many mansions into which He has been pleased to put a thousand forms of life. And then He said within Himself,"I will make a creature different from all the rest I have made as yet-it shall be a spirit that can converse with me-intelligent,immortal." And He created those first-born sons of light. I know not how many they may be, but our Covenant God, Father, Son,and Spirit formed servants suitable for the higher will and loftier behests in the cherubim and seraphim whom He made to belike flames of fire and who cheerfully flash to do His bidding. And then, last of all, He said-and here, the Divine Unitycomes into counsel with itself-"Let Us make man after Our own image," and He made a strange creature, matchless and altogetherunique-part of which was taken from the ground and kindred with the soil, which might die if it sinned, but another part ofwhich was immaterial, fitted to tenant any of the spheres in the great universe and should exist forever- a spirit made inthe image of God! So He made us and at this day, despite sin which seemed to rob God of all His newborn servants and sons,whom He had created in the loins of Adam, He has a multitude that no man can number, who are nearer to Him than even angelsare, associates and friends with Christ, His Son, brought into union with Christ, married to Him. Is it not a marvelous subjectif one could dive into it, this social Character of the Divine Being, that He willed not to be alone, that He still continuesto constantly surround Himself with ten thousand times ten thousand spirits whom He ordains to bless? Oh, that I might beamong them! Does not each one of you say so? Oh, that I might tread the courts of His house! To be but a hired servant withinHis gates might well content me, but oh, if I might be His son and as His child, might draw near to Him!-how would I blessthat glorious Being from whom I sprang and into whose bosom I would leap back again-the source of my life, the sum total ofmy bliss, my God, my All! Think that thought over another time. I leave it with you.
Another thought rises out of the text. If there shall be in Heaven a multitude surpassing all human arithmetic, out of allnations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, how certain the Gospel is to achieve yet a great success. We are always fretting.We are in a great hurry for results. We are impatient of the issue, for we cannot see how the Kingdom of God will come andgladly would we want to hasten the wheels of our Lord's chariot. Well, but our fears may be put aside and our disquietudemay be allayed when we remember that as surely as Jehovah lives, Christ must see of the travail of His soul-and He shall seeof it in the ultimate salvation of a number out of all nations that are beyond all human count! Patience, my Brothers andSisters, patience, but diligence! Let us work at the same time that we wait. Let us serve, for the cause is in good hands.The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in the hands of Christ! He shall not have died in vain! He shall not lose the purchaseof His blood! A countless multitude must be saved! As surely as He bought them, so surely will He wash them in the blood whichHe shed on their behalf! Perhaps the day of the Church's great growth will come when she returns to something like her primitivemode of warfare. Those who first went out to convert the world were but a handful of men-one room contained them all-yet withina few years there was not a nation upon earth that had not heard the Gospel! Even to the remotest isles the Truth of Jesushad been carried, and who were the men who carried it? Brothers, they were men who never framed a syllogism-men who neverembellished a sermon with rhetorical art! For the most part, they were men who spoke only the language of the common people-spokeit, I doubt not, earnestly, but certainly not according to the lordly rhetoric of the schools. They were not men who stroveto be intellectual. They were not deep thinkers. They were not profoundly learned. They were men who knew but this one thing-thata Savior had come into the world and that they were intent to tell men about Him! They spoke of this and of this only in burningwords with tender feelings and fervent appeals to the conscience. But now-a-days, indeed, we are told that the world is tobe converted by logic! That it is to be reasonedout of its sins! That it is to be enlightened by the tapers of human intellectuntil the darkness of Hell shall be scattered! Believe me, we are on the wrong tack if we think this! It is not so! "Not bymight, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts," and the Spirit works with the simple Gospel, and only withthe simple Gospel! When we get back to this conviction and return to this practice, we shall begin to see the countless multitudesflocking first to the Church on earth and afterwards to the Church above. I will ask you, my Brothers and Sisters here whohave been converted, how were you saved? How were you converted? Was it by learning? Was it by the flash of some gloriousspeech of some mighty master of rhetoric? I confess that if I were converted to God-and I trust I was-it was through the ministrationof a very simple, humble, uneducated man. I believe the confession of the most of God's children will be such as gives theglory to the Gospel, and not to the preacher's skill, art or intellect. If you have received comfort, and if you have receivedlight, these things have come to you by the means of one who could not claim the glory, for he was but an earthen vessel-theexcellence of the power was conspicuously of God and not of him! Oh, Spirit of God, bring back Your Church to a belief inthe Gospel! Bring back her ministers to preach it once again withthe Holy Spirit, and not striving after wit and learning.Then shall we see Your arm made bare, O God, in the eyes of all the people, and the myriads shall be brought to rally roundthe Throne of God and the Lamb! The Gospel must succeed! It shall succeed! It cannot be prevented from succeeding-a multitudethat no man can number must be saved!
Kindly allow me to continue on the same point the Divine circle in Heaven. Notice the variety. "Out of every nation and tribe,and people, and tongue." How did John know that? I suppose as he looked at them, he could tell where they come from. Thereis individuality in Heaven, depend upon it! Every seed will have its own body. There will sit down in Heaven not three unknownpatriarchs, but Abraham-you will know him! Isaac-you will know him! And Jacob-you will know him! There will be in Heaven nota company of persons, all struck off alike so that you cannot tell who is who, but they will be out of every nation, and tribe,and people, and tongue. I say not that they will speak the language they spoke on earth, but I do say that there will be certainidiosyncrasies and peculiar marks about them that will permit the onlooker to know, as John knew, that they are not all ofone nation, but of all nations, tribes, people and tongues. I like this. The very charm of nature is its variety. If all flowerswere alike, where were the glorious crown of summer? And if all bodies in the Resurrection world, or even all spirits in thedisembodied state could all be precisely one like another, the very beauty of Heaven would be extinct in a degree. No, therethey are from different tribes, nations, peoples and tongues-and this betokens individuality and gives us hope that we shallknow each other in Heaven even as we are known!
Yet a unity about them, for they all wore white robes, and they all carried palms, and they all sang the same song. Thereare twelve gates to the New Jerusalem, but they all lead to the same city, and there is the same center. There were twelvefoundations, but they were all laid on the one Foundation. So they may be many views and notions of truth that we may hold,but they must all be bottomed on Christ Jesus and founded there. And if they are, we shall all meet in the better land. Thereis a variety in Heaven, yet there is a unity of experience, and a unity in the gratitude they feel. May you and I be thereto help to increase the variety and to certify the unity of the heavenly throng! And now for a few words of running commenton the description given of-
III. THE SACRED COMPANY, THEMSELVES, which will supply us with a third point. They "stood before the Throne, and before theLamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." That they stood is not meant to teach us that they do not sit orrest in Heaven, for they always rest in Heaven. But they stand-that is to say-they are confirmed, they are established, theyare secure. Their feet shall never slide. They stand in no slippery places. They stand before the Throne of God! It is theposture of action-they stand like soldiers ready for the march-like servants who but need to have it said to them, "Go," andthey go. Oh, that we could on earth realize this posture of Heaven! The Lord hold us up that we may stand-may our feet neverslide-and oh, that we might stand with loins girt ready for whatever He shall bid us do! Alas, we need often to shake ourselves,for we lie upon the bed of sloth and we are given to slumber. If we would be like those are who see His face, we should alwaysstand and watch, that whatever the Master says to us, we would be ready to obey.
That they stood "before the Throne" shows that they are in the immediate Presence of God. They are not excluded from His Presence,they are not at a distance, but they behold His Glory to peculiar advantage and He is near to them in a remarkably graciousand glorious manner. They stand before the Throne of God. Yes, and this is the charm of Heaven, to dwell in the Presence ofGod! You have tasted, then, something of what Heaven means, my dear Brothers and Sisters. Sometimes you have been near toChrist and in full fellowship with Him you have sipped of the golden cup from which you shall drink forever! You have tastedof immortal fruit that shall furnish your everlasting food. This is Heaven- forever to behold His face, forever to stand likea courtier in the very court, itself, like a favorite before the Throne-not in the outer courts-not in the court of the Gentiles,but inside the veil, before the Throne, within the glorious mystery, the sanctum sanctorum, in the Holy of Holies, right whereGod, Himself, is! There shall we stand forever and forever!
That they were "clothed with white robes'" is not a little significant. Nakedness was revealed to man by sin. Before the timewhen he sinned, he was naked and not ashamed. But then he strove to make himself a dress and the fig leaf was the result.But Christ has come in and clothed us-clothed us completely. The robes spoken of here seem to have covered them from headto foot. They were "clothed with white robes"-not partly clad, but altogether clad in them. Oh, how comely that righteousnessof Christ which He has worked for us, and worked in us wherewith we shall be clothed when we stand before the eternal Throneof God! Brothers and Sisters, rejoice to put it on tonight! Rejoice to feel that His blood and righteousness, even now-
"Your beauty are your glorious dress."
Anticipate the time when you shall be admired of men and of angels, attired in that complete garment. These robes are saidto be "white robes"-white to indicate purity-and "they are without fault before the Throne of God." White-as distinctive oftheir priestly order, "for they are kings and priests unto God forever and ever." White-as an emblem of triumph, for now theyare victors over every foe.
But why and how came those robes to be white? Their robes are white because His robes were red-His robes I say. Oh, how theangels gazed with astonishment, and asked with eagerness, as they saw Him come back from Calvary, "Why are Your garments red?Why are You red in Your apparel as one that has trodden the winepress?" And He answered, "I have trodden the winepress alone,and of the people there was none with Me." Because the Savior bled and dyed His garments with His own blood for us, therefore,filthy as the saints' garments once were, they are now robed in pure immaculate white, whiter than any fuller could make them,glistening like the sun!
Oh, the joy of being there! May it soon come to us! It will! It may come now, while yet we are talking here-
"Soon may the hand be stretched And dumb the mouth that lisps this faltering strain."
But if it were so, then sudden death would be sudden glory! Are you sure, each one of you, that it would be so? Would yourdeparture out of this life be your entrance into the eternal life? Would the shutting of these poor eyes be the opening ofnobler optics upon a brighter scene? Believer, it would be so with you! Then why are you afraid to die? No, rather, be willingat any time to gather up your feet into the bed and die-your father's God to meet-where the white-robed company see His face!
To complete the description, we will only remark that the palms in their hands may refer to their observing that great feastof the Lord, the feast of tabernacles, when the harvest of the earth is complete, when the sabbathism that remains to thepeople of God is attained and the pleasures which are at God's right hand forevermore are realized-for so of old it was ordained,as we read in Leviticus-that at this festival the Israelites should take palm branches in their hands and rejoice before theLord their God. This seems to have been the acme of felicity in their sacred year.
I wish I had the power to describe this glorious circle-those bright ones before the Throne, that you could see them! I think,as I look upon them, that I can see even now the Apostolic band. I mark the goodly fellowship of the Prophets. I think I seethe martyrs with their ruby crowns. Do not I see the ministers and confessors of Christ, some of my own kith and kin thathave gone before me-the Covenanters who bled in Scotland, and the heroes of Smithfield? There they stand, and listen!-howthey sing! None shall excel them in their song of praise. You have a mother there, perhaps-a sister, or a brother, or yourgrandfather who, years ago "went over to the majority" to sing among that countless multitude. Oh, if I could but have a visionof all that will be there within the next hundred years, would I see myself, and would I see all this company there? Oh, ifit were possible, I would gladly translate you all to Heaven at once-from the Tabernacle to the Temple, from this place wherewe sing His praises at His footstool to the place where we will sing them to His face more sweetly and more loudly by far!Not one of you, oh, not one of you would we have absent! Though, Friend, you may be out of sight, and almost out of hearing,one who has just managed to crowd in among the multitude that throng this house-oh, may you with all the rest of us have aplace among His chosen-and may none of you find your name left out when He, for them, shall call! Are you believing in Jesus?If so, you should be there! Are you an unbeliever? If you die as you are, you must be driven from His Presence-you must bedestroyed from the glory of His power-all the joy and bliss that make up life must be crushed out of you and you must livebanished from Him forever! And now to close. It seems that-
IV. THIS GOODLY COMPANY WHO SURROUNDED THE CENTRAL THRONE OF GOD WERE ENGAGED
They "cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our GOD which sits upon the Throne and unto the Lamb." I was reading theother day a book containing the life of a very excellent Primitive Methodist minister, and I was greatly amused to find inhis diary an allusion to myself. He says, "Went to Stroud to hear Mr. Spurgeon. He is a rank Calvinist, but a good man." Iwas pleased to find that I was a good man, and I was equally pleased to find that I was a rank Calvin-ist! And when I cameto review the book I was obliged to say that our Brother was quite correct about my being a rank Calvinist, and we believedthat he was one, too, now that he has gone to Heaven! They are all Calvinists there! Every soul of them! They may have beenArmenians on earth-thousands and millions of them were-but they are not after they get there, for here is their song, "Salvationunto our God which sits upon the Throne." That is all my Calvinism. I am sure that is what Calvin preached, what Augustinepreached, what Paul preached, what Christ would have us preach!
And this is what they sing in Heaven-"Salvation unto our God which sits upon the Throne and unto the Lamb." They sing in Heaventhat it was God that planned salvation, 'twas God that ordained them to salvation, 'twas God that gave them salvation, 'twasthe Lamb that brought them salvation, 'twas all of God that that salvation was carried on, and all of God that their salvationwas ever perfected! They do not, one of them, say, "Stop, now! Salvation unto our God, yes, but still, free will had a handin it." Oh, no, no, no! There never was a soul in Heaven that ever thought that! They all feel, when they get there, thatalthough God never violated their free wills, yet He made them willing in the day of His power, and that it was His Free Gracethat brought them to come and love the Savior! I am sure, if the verse were given out in Heaven, that we sometimes sing atCommunion, they would sing it there-
"'Twas all of Your Grace we were made to obey,
While others were suffered to go
The road which by nature we chose as our way,
And which leads to the chambers of woe." And I think they would sing that other verse that we sing at the Lord's Table-
"Why was I made to hear Your voice,
And enter while there's room,
While thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?
'Twas the same love that spread the feast,
That kindly forced me in,
Else I had still refused to taste,
And perished in my sin."
This is how they sing in Heaven, then. It is salvation-salvation all of Grace! Salvation of which the glory, from first tolast, must all be given to God, and to God alone. They exclude themselves! They give no boasting to themselves. They do notsay, "Salvation unto our better nature; salvation to our choicer Grace." No, no! But all unto the Lord, all unto the Lordfrom first to last! Well, Brothers and Sisters, some of us will not have to change our note much when we get there, for thathas been the burden of our song here! It has been the theme of our ministry from our youth up, "Salvation is of the Lord."We have learned it somewhere in the same college as that in which Jonah learned that old Calvinistic theology. He had to gointo the whale's belly to learn it, and when he came out, he said, "Salvation is of the Lord." And we, too, in sharp afflictions,pains, and griefs have had to learn it and have it burned into us! And we never believed it more thoroughly in our lives thanwe do now, that if a sinner is saved, it is God's work that saves him-and God must have all the glory of it.
I pray the Lord to convince any poor needy soul that there is salvation in Him-and enable that poor soul now to come and takeit-take it by a simple act of faith. You have not got to save yourselves. Christ has saved you. You have but to trust Himand you are saved. There is nothing for you to do-nothing for you to be, but simply to be nothing- and to let Christ be All-in-Allto you, to look and live, for-
"There's life in a look at the Crucified One."
God grant that you may look, and so be among the countless throng who shall sing His praises forever and ever! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: REVELATION 7.
Verse 1. Andafter these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of theearth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. A perfect calm there must be till God'speople are saved. Not a leaf shall stir to do them damage. Not a dash of foam upon the waters-no movement of wind, or sea,or tree.
2, 3. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice tothe four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea. Saying, Hurt not the earth neither the sea, nor the treestill we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. Everything exists for the servants of God! Creation is buta scaffold for the Church-and when God's Church is finished, then all may be taken down-but not till then.
4, 5. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of allthe tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealedtwelve thousand. The order is not that of nature, but of Grace, otherwise Reuben would have come first. And the election ofGod is not according to birth or blood, but according to His Sovereign will. Judah, then Reuben.
5-8. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Asher were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Naphtaliwere sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasseh were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelvethousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of thetribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand And of the last and least tribe, still the same.
8. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. I think many Believers belong to the tribe of Benjamin- doubtingfearing, little in faith and confidence-but Benjamin still has his men.
9. After this I beheld The Gentile Church.
9. And, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and people, and tongues. It will dosome people good to see that sight, for they fancy that all the saints go to their place of worship! There are no good peopleanywhere except those that think exactly as they do. So they seem to fancy. Oh, that their eyes were opened a little, forI am afraid that some Christians are very much like the mouse that had always lived in a box and on some grand occasion climbedup to the edge of the box. He looked over and saw the vast area of the cupboard, and said, "I had no idea the world was asbig as that!" And yet it had never been outside the cupboard even then. Oh, for eyes that could see a sight like this! "Afterthis, I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number" (we can count pretty high, too) "of all nations, andtribes, and people, and tongues."
9. Stood before the Throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.Perfectly pure-perfectly happy- arrayed like priestsand conquerors, for they had "palms in their hands."
9-11. And palms in their hands. And cried with a loud voice saying, Salvation to our God who sits upon the Throne, and untothe Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the Thron. In the outer ring and about the elders that represent the Church,who stand in the inner ring, nearest to Christ and nearest akin to the Son of Man.
11, 12. And about the elders and four beasts, and fell before the Throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen:Blessing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might be unto our God forever and ever Amen. Grandascriptions of praise to make the worship perfect, as all worship should be which is presented to God-as all worship willbe when we shall once get to Heaven.
13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, Who are fhese.?This vast crowd-who are these? 13-17. Who are arrayed inwhite robes? And where did they come from? And I said unto him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they who cameout of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are theybefore the Throne ofGod, andserve Him day andnight in His Temple: andHe who sits on the Throne shall dwell among them. Theyshall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb who is in themidst of the Throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tearsfrom their eyes.