And now John has a clear
picture of heaven, filled up with hosts and hosts of people and angels, with
numbers so great that only God can count them.
Standing around the
throne, the center of all that exists, Jesus Christ on whom all life rests and
balances, are innumerable angels, who have been living for all of the time that
creation has existed, and have seen all of history, both prior to, and during
the existence of humanity.
They fall down to
worship, and to recognize that it is God, Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate authority
and sovereign in all of existence.
This then, gives us an
indication of Satan’s rebellion, not just against God the Father or God in
general, but against Jesus Christ in particular, just as Jesus Christ is our
focus, so too, the angels here, demonstrate that they too point their worship
toward Him, and to no one else.
Likewise, assembled are
the glorified believers who already have their resurrection bodies, elders with
golden crowns, or Church Age believers who were already Raptured
away from the earth.
And, then there are the
believers in white robes, who are the believers who have died, as of that point
in the Tribulation, not yet glorified, not yet resurrected. And from this verse, we know that they will
be coming to heaven in huge numbers. That
means that of all the people who refused to believe in Christ, or simply were
not interested, prior to the Rapture, were in fact going to believe in Christ,
once the heat of life was turned up really high. And their high heat of life means their
death. This also is a further indication
of the horrible conditions on the earth, that will exist
during the Tribulation.
Why are the Old Testament
believers not mentioned here? They have
not yet received their resurrection, and certainly with over four thousand
years of history, their numbers will be huge as well.
But what is emphasized
here, is the fact that even during this brief period in history, only seven
years, the numbers of believers pouring into heaven, will be huge. As the
population on the earth declines, the population in heaven will be increasing.
The missionary work of
the Israelites of the past which failed, will be
totally successful, even under the most extreme of circumstances.
What John is seeing is a
snapshot of heaven as a result of the history being carried out on earth during
the Tribulation. And though we have not
yet covered all of the events of the Tribulation, this summary demonstrates
that even under massive extremes of life, people will still turn to God,
One might wonder, if they
can and will, do it then, when the world is literally falling apart, why can’t
people do it now (believe and/or advance in their spiritual life), when we have
a much better world to live in now?
End of study