AFTER THIS (7:9-17) refers to the sealing of the 144,000 Israelite evangelists. The Holy Spirit will empower their ministry (Joel 2:28). Pentecost is a token of this outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2:14-21). The fruit of their evangelism will be a saved multitude during the Tribulation that no one could count. Undoubtedly, the books of Daniel and Revelation will play an important role in their conversion also. This multitude stands in contrast to the 144,000.
The Great Multitude
Name: Every nation, tribe, people and language
Number: Countless amount
Nations = political bodies
Tribes = families
People = geographic groups
Language = diversity
Name: Twelve Tribes of Israel
Number: Definite amount
Reward: To be received
The martyred Tribulation saints receive prominence and honor.
Position, 9 Standing before the Throne in front of the Lamb
Purity, 9, 13 Wearing white robes
Praise, 9 Palm branches in their hands (cf. John 12:13)
Privilege, 15 Serving or Worshiping God day and night in His Temple
Worship of the saints is the appropriate response to God and His salvation in the Lamb. The angels, elders and living creatures join the worship with sevenfold praise (7:12).
The saint’s praise of verses 15-17 celebrates the fulfillment of the twenty-third Psalm (cf. John 14ff; Hebrews 13:20).
Ten Blessings of the Redeemed:
1. To stand before God’s throne
2. To serve God day and night in His Temple
3. To have God shelter them
4. To hunger no more
5. To thirst no more
6. To have no oppressive sun
7. To have no scorching heat
8. To be shepherded by the Lamb
9. To have springs of living water
10. To have no more sorrow
HEAT in the Bible is symbolic of persecution and suffering. SUN signifies government. There will be no more oppressive government. God is still working out His program in human history, distinctions still exits between Jews and Gentiles, the Church, Israel, and the Tribulation Saints. Such distinctions will disappear, after the Millennial Kingdom, when there is no longer any sea, which is made up of all classes of people (21:1).