THE VISION IN HEAVEN – THE INNUMERABLE COMPANY OF GENTILES
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before 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 sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-12).
The scene shifts back to heaven and is still part of the parenthesis. It is assumed by most, that these are Gentiles who are saved during the Tribulation. The vision is in heaven and takes us forward to the return of Christ as King of kings and Lord of Lords. See verses 15-17. “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
The sealed Jews are protected, and go through the Tribulation. These Gentiles are saved during the same time period, but aren’t necessarily protected from torment and physical death. Obviously, these are righteous Gentiles who have received the Gospel of the Kingdom, or they were instrumental in the protection of Jews during the Tribulation. (See Matthew 25:31-46.) We are told in that text that Gentile nations will be saved because of their humane treatment of the Jews during those awful days.
If Gentile nations are to continue to procreate during the Millennium, then it stands to reason that not all Gentiles will be killed. The teaching that all who do not receive the mark of the Beast will be killed cannot be accurate, unless they are all resurrected in natural bodies as Lazarus was.
If the sealed Jews serve as evangelists and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the entire world, many of these Gentiles will be the fruit of their labors. Their Gospel will be a Gospel of faith and works. One must overcome and endure to the end. Their gospel is not the Gospel of grace by which believers are saved today.
It has always been God’s plan to evangelize the earth with His Good News. This He will accomplish through a converted Israel. In the following Scriptures Israel is blessed first, then that blessing extends to the Gentiles!
“…I will bless thee…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:2-3).
“He will be merciful unto his land, and to his people” “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people:” (Deuteronomy 32:43).
“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.
That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” (Psalms 67:1-2).
“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10).
The 144,000, no doubt, are the ones who will partially fulfill that plan.
The idea that the Bible contains more than one Gospel offends many of the brethren. We understand their concern. For many years we, too, held to the same belief. However, when challenged by others concerning this matter, it became clear that the Bible does have more than the Gospel of grace by which we are saved.
Luke 18:31-34 ought to help the reader understand that the twelve knew nothing of Christ’s upcoming death, burial, and resurrection. THEREFORE, none of them ever preached it as part of their gospel during His earthly ministry. “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
The reaction of the twelve, and of the women, after His death, ought to convince the greatest skeptic that the Gospel which we preach today was not the Gospel of the Kingdom, which was preached in the four Gospels and early Acts period. The Gospel preached in the Tribulation will be the Gospel of the Kingdom and will require both faith and works to enter the Kingdom. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).
Jesus, John, and the twelve, all preached the same Gospel; and it did not contain one word about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matthew 4:23). This is the same Gospel that will be preached during the Tribulation.
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:13-17).
It is said of these that they “washed their robes…” (v. 14). This washing resulted from their overcoming-faith in the crucified, resurrected, and returning King of Israel; and their rejection of the mark of the Beast. This is what is meant by, “washed their robes …in the blood of the Lamb.” This washing was something they did by suffering unto death as Jesus did.
When the writer of the Book of Job said Job was a righteous, upright, and a perfect man, he was not speaking of Job’s position in Christ. Job did not have the imputed righteousness of Christ as believers do today. He was speaking of Job’s practical righteousness.
These also have that practical righteousness because they “washed their (own) robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” The washing white of their robes, “in the blood of the Lamb,” means they suffered unto death, as did the Lord Jesus Christ. This is how they washed their robes and made them white in His blood. These words are action verbs and are figures of speech depicting their suffering unto death.
These, in verses 13-17, may be in the New Jerusalem as described in Revelation 21 and 22. Obviously, Gentiles will not serve in Ezekiel’s millennial temple; therefore, the temple in which these Gentiles stand is the eternal temple, which appears after the thousand-year reign of Christ, and the earth is burned up… “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4). “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1). It is true that Gentiles will serve Christ in the Millennium, but it is inconceivable that they will be in the temple, since the Kingdom is given to Israel.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.