And one of the elders answered, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and from where came they?…
The vision is yet heightened. A further brightness overspreads the scene, The comfort of hope is yet expanded. Arrested by one of the elders, the seer lowlily refrains from declaring who constitute the triumphant host, and receives the consoling assurance that they are from the fields of earthly suffering, toil, and danger. They are now exalted far above all worldly power. The final blessedness of the righteous is -
I. BLESSEDNESS FOR WHICH THEY ARE PREPARED BY EARTHLY TRIBULATION. Even the rugged ways of earthly obedience lead to heaven's gates. But all toil and tribulation are o'er.
II. The final blessedness is BASED ON AN ATTAINED SANCTITY. "They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
III. This blessedness INCLUDES:
1. Recognition. They are "before the throne of God."
2. Perpetual service. They serve God "day and night in his temple."
3. They enjoy the perfect protection of the Divine presence. He that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.
IV. IT SECURES THEM EXEMPTION FROM THE SORROWS OF THE EARTHLY LIFE. "They hunger no more, neither thirst any more," nor shall the sun or any heat strike upon them.
V. THE FINAL BLESSEDNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS HAS ITS FRUITION IN A GRACIOUS ALLIANCE WITH THE ETERNAL The Lamb "shall be their Shepherd," and shall guide them to the perpetual fountains of life and felicity; and God shall himself exempt them from all further sorrow or suffering. He "shall wipe away every tear from their eyes." Thus every trace of the tribulation of earth shall be removed; and blessedness of the highest possible character shall be the final lot of them who now endure for truth's sake. Thus in the midst of the earthly raging power is the persecuted Church of God assured, in all ages, of a final, a certain, and an ample recompense. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?