I did not set out to teach the book of Revelation at this time. If you wish to study that book, I suggest you find it on the web-sight: www.gloriousgospel.org. I am only hitting the highlights of the book that pertain to future events for the saints of the Church. We have covered the prophecy of the first rank of the Church in heaven. They are taken up to heaven first and are present in the throne room beholding Christ taking His throne.
Christ taking His throne begins His millennial reign in heaven, but on earth He must first judge the Gentile nations for their opposition to His rule. He must put down all rule and authority that is opposed to Him – I Cor. 15:24-25. He must take control so it will come to pass that He rules on earth as He does in heaven. Isa. 45:20-25 shall be fulfilled. Also Israel as a nation shall be judged for refusing His Messiahship. A remnant shall be saved, a new creation nation born in a day – Isa. 66:8.
To those who want to read of the tribulation days coming on this earth, will find it in that study of the Book of Revelation. Also details of the Antichrist and false prophet are also in the study of the book of Daniel, also on the web-sight. I will tell you this that the first 8 verses of Rev. 6 are like an index to the remainder of Revelation. Judgments come forth as the seals of the book are opened.
Not all saints were ready when the first rank was taken up, so they will have to taste part of tribulation days. We read of them in chapter 7:9-17. They are a great multitude which no man could number from all nations. They ascend to heaven and seen standing before the throne. They are not joined to the Lamb’s throne as the Living ones, nor on thrones as the Elders, but are in the presence of the throne. They are clothed with white robes, in other words Christ’s righteousness. Having Palms in their hands speaking of victory, rejoicing over their deliverance.
They shout and praise God with a loud voice for their redemption and acknowledge Christ, the Lamb, for their salvation. All the angels circle around them, about the throne with the living ones and elders being in the center. The angels fall down in their faces in adoration and praise beginning and ending with Amen. “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen” – V. 12.
One of the elders answered, What are these arrayed in white robes and whence came they? The elder answers saying Sir, thou knowest. These came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb – V. 14. They come out of tribulation days and are caught up to heaven some time during the first half of that hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world. It is not the unspeakable great tribulation of Mt. 24:21 which is the last half of that period called Jacob’s trouble – Jer. 30:7 & Isa. 26:20.
They washed their robes, it could be their garments had been spotted by the flesh? Read Ch. 16:15. Don’t you think missing being caught up in the first rank may have stirred them up to cleanse their robes? I think so. Praise God, they are in heaven, but have no crowns nor thrones, but they are blessed and serve Him day and night V. 15. The Lord is so precious to them, He dwells among them and they enjoy His divine presence. The Greek text reads, He that sitteth on the throne “shall spread his tent upon them (tabernacle over them).
The Lamb, their Shepherd, will nourish them and they shall hunger no more. He shall lead them to ever-flowing springs of life, they shall thirst no more. Neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Once they felt these things, but sorrow is banished for ever. They will only know the joys of heaven and be fully satisfied. Blessed is the portion of these servants of God.
Differences between the first Rank and this company. The first rank can be numbered and this company is innumerable. The first rank are kept out of tribulation and arrive first in heaven and view Christ taking His throne. The innumerable company come out of tribulation after Christ is enthroned. The first rank are in and around the throne – the innumerable company stand before the throne in an outer circle. The first rank fell down in worship and sang a new sing, having harps and bowls of incense – the innumerable company stood and cried with a loud voice. The first rank praised God for redemption and His work of making them kings and priests – the innumerable company cried Salvation to our God. The first rank wear crowns and sit on thrones – the innumerable company hold palms in their hands. The first rank are kings and priests and rule and reign with Christ – the innumerable company serve Him day and night.
Do you see the difference? Put Christ first in your life. He can do this work only in yielded saints. I Cor. 9:24, every believer has been places on this race course. Many run uncertainly, others strive to win Christ and know it is by being in subjection to Him. Submission is the out standing quality of the bride of Christ. She puts Him first in everything. He is the Chief One in Her life. Let us run to win Him, our Beloved Lord.
In this book we read of the overcomers leading in the worship of God and they have specific ministries associated with Christ. They announce the opening of the seals, they sound the 7 trumpets (Ch. 8). They hold the golden bowls containing the 7 last plaques (Chs. 15 & 16. We do not read about the innumerable company again until Ch. 19. They serve at the wedding feast of the Lamb – Ch. 19:5-6. The elders and living ones are mentioned again and again, the last time in Ch. 19:4, as worshipers.
There are at least three rank of the church:
1. The living ones and 24 elders (Chs. 4 & 5).
2. The innumerable company (Ch. 7:9-17)
The 144,000 (Ch. 7:1-8)