What will the multitude do in the temple?
". . . These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes. . . . Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." (Rev. 7:14, 15)
John was shown the time when
the multitude would serve God in His temple. In what way would they serve?
and when would this be in the timeline of God's plan of salvation? Let's
compare this with a passage in chapter 20:
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. . . . . Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (20:4, 6, 7)
Before reading more of what I think, do you see the multitude of chapter 7 also in the chapter 20 passage — the souls under the altar joined by the 144,000? Those under the altar were martyrs for the word and the testimony (6:9), and the multitude here (7:9) with palm branches [of victory] would be the ones in 15:2 on the sea of glass who had gotten victory over the beast.
One could argue that we are seeing different groups with the same experiences, but as you continue to read, I believe you will find instead, portions of the same drama being played out repeatedly in slightly different symbols and revealing different truths.
Looking again at 20:4 above, those on the thrones are given "judgment." The thrones and the reign with Christ are part of the scene. Understanding God's throne to be a place of judgment (Ps. 9:7) and, in our current verse, seeing that throne in the temple, we can identify the multitude serving God as those judging during the 1000 years. I see the same judgment in considering the actual word meanings in Dan. 7:21, 26.
Two other points show this time of serving God in His temple as during the 1000 years: It is after the tribulation and robe-washing time (v.14), and it is before the new-earth period which follows the 1000 years because there is then no more temple (21:22) indicating no more judgment.
This will be an interesting assignment. I hope to see you there.
Day and night service
"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." (Rev. 7:15)
The term, day and night, may mean continually.
"And there was one Anna, a
prophetess. . . . And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years,
which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers
night and day. And she coming in that instant [following Simeon's blessing
the baby Jesus] gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to
all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." (Luke
2:36-38; also Acts
26:6, 7; Lev.
The One on the throne will dwell among them
" because of this [having
come out of the temple with washed robes] are they before the throne of
God, and they do service . . . and He who is sitting upon the throne shall
tabernacle over them;" (Young's Literal Translation). To tabernacle over
them, is "to spread His tent over them."
What a magnificent promise to the faithful ones living during the long ages of religious oppression. It the fulfillment of the covenant of Leviticus 26 le2611. Also compare ps02704f.
The Lamb paradox
"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Rev. 7:16, 17)
Compare is2504. The protection from hunger and heat of the sun is drawn from is4910.
What other passage
does this remind you of?
Here is one:
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." (Ps. 23)
That final peace of the 23rd psalm comes during and after the tribulation — "the valley of the shadow of death." Of course, we experience this peace now, too. The exciting thing in our verse here in Revelation is that the Lamb in the midst of the throne does the leading. The lamb, meekest of the sheep, has become the powerful shepherd.
See jl0119. And on "midst of the throne" see 0506.
As the sheep of HIs pasture, we can have full confidence knowing that He experienced our nature as a lamb.