9 After [meta] this [tauta] I beheld, [eido] and, [kai] lo, [idou] a great [polus] multitude, [ochlos] which [hos] no man [oudeis] could [dunamai] number [arithmeo], [autos] of [ek] all [pas] nations, [ethnos] and [kai]kindreds, [phule] and [kai] people, [laos] and [kai] tongues, [glossa] stood [histemi] before [enopion] the throne, [thronos] and [kai] before [enopion] the Lamb, [arnion] clothed [periballo] with white [leukos] robes, [stole] and [kai] palms [phoinix] in [en] their [autos] hands; [cheir]KJV-Interlinear
these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count,
from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the
throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in
their hands; NASB
During the dispensation
of the Age of Israel, the dispensation which preceded ours, and of which our
Church Age, or the Age of the Gentiles as we are also called, interrupted that
former age, the Israelites had been placed with the honor and obligation to
spread the gospel of the Messiah, to the world.They failed horribly.
During our dispensation,
we of the Church Age, have that same obligation placed on us.That is, to spread the gospel to all of the world.And
though you might think that we have some semblance of success in this effort,
there still remains perhaps two-thirds of the world that rejects Christ in favor
of other religions.
And as depicted in the letters
to the churches, where five of them failed horribly, and with Pauls disclosure of a great apostasy in 2 Thess, then we can see that even in our current
dispensation, there will be a great failure in bringing the gospel to the
majority of the world, by the time our dispensation comes to an end – ‘the fullness
of the gentiles,’ Rom. 11:25, which by the way will coincide with the Rapture.
And, in the most
unexpected time in all of human history, when the numbers of new believers has
halted due to the great apostasy, at the end of our dispensation, with the
removal of all believers in the Rapture, and the simultaneous removal of the restraining
influence of the Holy Spirit on the world, and with the rapid advancement of
persecutions and terrors throughout the world because of the anti-christ, one would think that salvation for anyone would be
impossible.Why would anyone, after so
long a period of indifference, suddenly turn to Christ in faith?
And yet they will.
Israel was promised a
role in the evangelism of the entire world, and while under the worst of
circumstances in all of human history, these 144,000 first believers, all of
Jewish heritage, all of the tribes of Israel, will go out to the entire world
and bring so many converts, from all nations, including Israel, that they cannot
be counted (an expression for a huge number).
And this all happens
during the worst time of turmoil and trouble in all the
This is the time of Israels national salvation, Zech.
12, Rom 11:25-27.
Israel will become the
light of the world, during the darkest days of history for the world, Isa 11:10,
Isa 49:6, Isa 45:22, Isa 52:10, Joel 2:28-32.And, people will come to Christ by the millions.Note quickly that they did not believe in Christ
prior to the Rapture, but did believe after the Rapture, thus the failure of
Church Age evangelism.
The gospel will be
preached to the ends of the earth, and then the end will come, Matt 24:14.During the Tribulation, this spreading of the
gospel will occur in the face of the worst odds against its happening, in all
The tribulation begins
with unbelievers only, but during those seven years, the numbers of believers
will grow by leaps and bounds, and they will die due to natural catastrophe,
violence, starvation, and so forth.And,
they will all stand before the Lord in heaven.
In this verse, they stand
in white robes, purified and protected, however not yet glorified in
resurrection bodies, and holding palm branches, all of which symbolize peace,
contentment, happiness, and safety in Gods presence.
They stand before the
throne, and before the lamb, referring to their faith in Christ (not from some
other religious doctrine).
They come from all
nations, meaning that this evangelism actually will spread to all of the world and that the violence will be against them,
throughout the entire world. There will be no safe haven or place for believers
to live and thrive on the earth.All
nations will have gone evil to the maximum, and will be guilty of persecutions
in horrifying numbers.
And this, all during the
course of the removal of the first six seals, which we saw in the previous
and the anti-christ try to portray themselves as heroes
on white horses, which portrayal turns to horrific disasters and atrocities.
begins this verse with, ‘I beheld,’ meaning that what he saw was both startling
and shocking, and the accomplishment of something that all odds would have made
yet for God, nothing is impossible.Not
even the salvation of millions during the release of Satan’s phenomenal powers
and efforts to destroy the human race.
Evangelism during our
dispensation, will fail due to indifference toward sound study and instruction
in the spiritual life.Far too many will
look to emotional outlets, to speculative predictions, to things that do not inculcate
or manifest themselves into the edification of a powerful spiritual life.
That will be the sadness
of our age, but the glory of God, in the next.