Great Throne Multitude
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34. Great Throne Multitude
Revelation 7.9-14

"After this, I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' All the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures. They fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, 'Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!' Then one of the elders asked me, 'These in white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?' I answered, 'Sir, you know.' And he said, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation, they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'" (Revelation 7.9-14)✞

The Golden Gate

A Great MultitudeWho is this "great throne multitude?" John suddenly sees every "nation, tribe, people, and language." They wear "white robes" and wave "palm branches" in the Lamb of God's honor. John of Patmos would no doubt be reminded of another occasion during Jesus' earthly life when the crowds gathered by the roadside into Jerusalem's Golden Gate, also called the " Mercy Gate." The people took up "palm branches" to welcome Jesus in his triumphant entry into the Holy City. The Temple Mount's Golden Gate on the city wall's eastern side is possibly the oldest Jerusalem gate. Justinian I, also called Justinian the Great(482-565 AD), the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565, probably built the present gate in c520 AD, as part of his Jerusalem building program on earlier gate's ruins in the wall.

Walled Up Gate

The Ottoman Turks transformed the walled-up gate into a watchtower. A vaulted hall is divided by four columns into two aisles on the ground floor level, leading to the Door of Mercy, and the Door of Repentance, an upper floor room with a two roof domed ceiling. The Muslims built a cemetery outside the Golden Gate wall because they believed it was a holy place and entrance into the Temple Courts. They bricked it up to deter any Jewish Messiah from going through a pagan cemetery to inaugurate the New Kingdom! Closed by the Muslims in 810, reopened in 1102 by the Crusaders, Saladin walled it up again after regaining Jerusalem in 1187. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it and the city walls but walled it up in 1541, and it stayed that way to the present. There is a prophecy from Ezekiel 44.1-3, "Then the man brought me back to the sanctuary's outer gate, the one facing east, and it was shut. The Lord said to me, 'This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the Lord's presence. He is to enter by way of the gateway entrance and go out the same way." The people at the Golden Gate cry out in praise as heaven's multitudes do now.

The Beautiful Gate

Interestingly, the Golden Gate may be the same as the "Beautiful Gate" described in The Acts of the Apostles, where Peter heals a lame beggar. Acts 3.2-6 reads, "Now a man lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, 'Look at us!' So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, 'I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'" This Golden Gate sacred place is also a place of healing, for the man who stood there, leaped, and joyfully danced!

All the Faithful

As the great throne "multitude" sing God's praises, all the angels, the twenty-four elders, and the four living creatures join in. This vast Heavenly gathering represents all the faithful of every generation and all nationalities from the world's farthest corner. Every believer can be satisfied that God protects, and guarantees them a place at his side. The "great throne multitude" in heaven praise God that salvation comes only from the "Lamb," Jesus Christ.

Saint's White Clothes

The Great TribulationThe saints wear white clothes washed in the Lamb's blood. "How can the saint's white clothes be washed "in the blood of God's Lamb?" Usually, blood is a challenging stain to remove from a shirt or a dress, but here Chris's blood is the world's most efficient detergent! It removes even sin's mark from the saint's robes. White symbolizes sinless perfection and holiness, which only the sinless Lamb of God's death can bestow upon a person. The gowns represent human souls, which generally bear dark sin stains, but here the blood of Jesus bleaches the clothes glowing white. "Glory" describes God's brightness and his shining light presence.

The Great Tribulation

Saints White RobesOne of the twenty-four elders turns to John of Patmos as he gazes in awe at this scene. The angel asks about the origin of those in "white clothes." When John confesses his ignorance, the elder explains. They originate, he says, from "the great tribulation," from believers suffering through the ages. These Christians remained loyal to God, were martyred, and now serve day and night before his throne. Hunger, thirst, and scorching heat are now not even a memory. As prophesied in Isaiah 49.10, "They will not hunger nor thirst nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." They are forever under the Lamb of God's protective eye. There will no longer be hunger, thirst, or pain in heaven, for God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.✞

"Great Throne Multitude"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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