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, the elders and the four living creatures. They fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, 'Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, 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 Lamb's blood.'" (Revelation 7.9-14)✞

Jerusalem's Golden Gate

Great Multitude 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 Holy City's triumphant entry. The Temple Mount's Golden Gate on the city wall's eastern side is possibly the oldest Jerusalem gate. Emperor Justinian I (483-565 AD), also called Justinian the Great, the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565, probably built the present gate in c520 AD as part of his Jerusalem building program. Justinian was a prolific builder of churches, dams, bridges, and fortifications throughout the Empire. He had a solid Christian belief and legislated against paganism. Who 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.✞

Why is the Golden Gate closed?

The Ottoman Turks transformed the walled-up Golden Gate into a watchtower. A vaulted hall is divided by four columns into two aisles on the ground floor level, leading to the Mercy Door and the Repentance Door, 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 Temple Courts entrance. 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 AD, it was reopened in 1102 AD by the Crusaders, but Saladin walled it up again after regaining Jerusalem in 1187 AD. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it and the city walls but walled it up in 1541 AD, and it stayed that way to the present. Ezekiel 44.1-3 prophecies, "Then the man brought me back to the closed sanctuary's outer gate, the one facing east. The Lord said to me, 'This gate is to remain shut and not 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 to welcome the prince, Jesus, into the Lord's presence as heaven's multitudes do now.

Jerusalem's Beautiful Gate

Interestingly, the Golden Gate may be identical to the "Beautiful Gate" where Peter healed a lame beggar. Acts 3.2-6 reads, "Now a man lame from birth was being carried to the Beautiful temple gate, where he sat every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John entering, 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 was also a healing place, for the man stood up there, leaped, and joyfully danced!

Who will be in heaven?

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 includes every generation's faithful and all nationalities from the world's farthest corners. God protects every believer and guarantees them a place at his side. The "great throne multitude" in heaven praises God that salvation comes only from the "Lamb," the Lord Jesus Christ.

The saints wash white clothes in blood!

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 Christ'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 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 clothes a glowing, dazzling white! "Glory" describes God's brightness and his shining light's 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 who suffered 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, thirst nor will the desert heat or sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside water springs." They are forever under the Lamb of God's protection. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.✞

"Great Throne Multitude"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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