Today’s Reading: Revelation 6-7.
John looks on as the seals are opened. Previous to this the Christians of all history, dead and alive, have been taken (rapture) into the throne room to look upon the greatest devastation the earth will ever see.
The seals begin showing forth the great wrath of the Lamb, his hatred for evil, for scheming, for lies, for corruption, and for all of man’s poison which resides with us even now. Is Christ here doing wrong, should not the Lamb of God be one of only peace and love? No, for He is not only the Creator of the world, the Savior of the world, and the Future Promise of the world, He is the Judge of the world and it’s ultimate Destroyer. Perhaps at this time we cannot understand how Christ, the lowly Jesus, could pour out such wrath at the entry of the Great Tribulation, but then we will. Look at the words we will sing, perhaps not long from now (the hymnbook has already been printed!):
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!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-12, ESV)
Note: To be sure, later in this passage one of the elders explains to John that these singing first are those who have come “out of the Great Tribulation” (v. 14), which can have two meanings: either it is (1) those who were saved out of, meaning from, the Tribulation by the Rapture, or they are (2) those who did not believe in Antichrist and survived to tell of it. Whichever interpretation we use, I believe we will be part of either the first or second group of singers, but I do lean somewhat towards the first interpretation. Why? Will there really be a countless “great multitude” that survive the Tribulation? Not likely, for “when the son of man comes (2nd Coming), will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
This great King Jesus will then be our shepherd and protector, and when we come to reign with Him on earth at the end of the Tribulation, He will be even more glorious to us for how he restores the earth and blesses each of us, especially the Tribulation survivors:
“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)
This refers, likely, to the time of the Millennium, and not to heaven. Why will anyone cry in heaven? It seems like there will be weeping by those who have endured the bloodbath that will be the Tribulation, and they will be comforted by God Himself, as He restores all things and gives them perfect security. Those who will be with us at the entrance of the Millennium, who have survived the Tribulation, will likely be people paranoid of danger at every corner, in fear for their lives, having lived through the most devastating persecution in world history. God Himself must therefore wipe their tears away, be their shepherd, and give them security and peace.