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 before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were 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 MultitudeWhat is this "great throne multitude?" John suddenly sees every "nation, tribe, people, and language?" They wear "white robes" and wave "palm branches" in honor of the Lamb of God. John of Patmos would undoubtedly be reminded of another occasion during the earthly life of Jesus when the crowds gathered by the side of the road into Jerusalem's Golden Gate, also called the "Gate of Mercy." The people take up "palm branches" to welcome Jesus in his triumphant entry into the Holy City. The Golden Gate on the Temple Mount's eastern side of the city wall is possibly the oldest Jerusalem gate. Justinian I probably built the present gate in c520 AD, as part of his building program in Jerusalem, on top of an earlier gate's ruins in the wall.

A Shut 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 together with 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 outer gate of the sanctuary, 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 presence of the Lord. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way." The people at the Golden Gate cry out in praise as the multitudes in Heaven do now.

The Beautiful Gate

Interestingly, the Golden Gate may be the "Beautiful Gate" described in The Acts of the Apostles, where Peter heals a lame beggar. Acts 3.2-6 reads, "Now a man who was 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, 'Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'" This sacred place at the Golden Gate is also a place of healing for the man who stood there, leaped, and danced for joy!

All the Faithful

As the great "multitude" in Revelation sing God's praises, all the angels, the twenty-four elders, and the four living creatures join in. This vast Heavenly gathering represents all faithful, all generations, and all nationalities from every corner of the world. Every believer can be satisfied that God envelops and protects them and that they are all guaranteed 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 saint wears white clothes washed and made white in the Lamb's blood at the great tribulation. "How can the saint's white clothes be washed "in the blood of the Lamb of God?" Usually, blood is a stain challenging to remove from a shirt or a dress, but here the blood of Christ is the world's most excellent detergent! It removes even the stain of sin from the saint's robes. White symbolizes sinless perfection and holiness, which only the death of the sinless Lamb of God can bestow upon a person. The gowns represent human souls, which generally bear the dark stains of sin, but here the white clothes are bleached by the blood of Jesus. "Glory" describes the brightness of God and his presence in shining light.

The Great Tribulation

Saints White RobesOne of the twenty-four elders turns to Saint John 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 proceeds to explain. They originate, he says, from "the great tribulation," the suffering of believers through the ages. These Christians remain loyal to God, are martyred, and now have the unique privilege of serving day and night before his high throne. Hunger, thirst, and scorching heat are now not even a memory. As prophesied in Isaiah 49.10, "They will neither 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 protective eye of the Lamb of God. There will no longer be hunger, thirst, or pain in Heaven, for God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.✞

"Great Throne Multitude"
by Ron Meacock © 2020

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