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Revelation 7:9-17 - Standing before the face of the throne, wearing the face of the Lamb

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

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I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,


“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”


And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”


Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "Sir, you are the one that knows." Then he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.


For this reason they are before the throne of God,

and worship him day and night within his temple,

and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.

They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;

the sun will not strike them,

nor any scorching heat;

for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."


--------------------


I wrote about this reading when it was a selection for All-Saints Day, in 2020. I went deeply into the meaning offered by this selection, pointing out how Revelation is a standard fare during the Easter season and All-Saints Day. I recommend readers view that commentary at this link here. I will take a different view of this reading from the Easter perspective at this time.


This reading from John’s Revelation needs to sound similar to the vision Isaiah wrote of, in Isaiah 6:1-8. In that vison, Isaiah saw “adonay” – “lords” – “above a throne” that was the vacated seat of Uzziah. Isaiah saw seraphim, who had covered their faces with two of their wings. While this angelic presence included all spirits who claimed allegiance to Yahweh, the question raised was who would take the throne of Judah and which angels would support that reign. Isaiah saw himself as a sinner; but one seraph touched his lips with a coal from the altar fire, purifying his soul. When the question was raised, “Who shall we send? “ Isaiah say, “Here I am. Send me.” He was then commissioned to advise the throne of Judah as a prophet.


While the two visions differ in details, they both must be seen as having immediate impact on the world, where John was not shown a vision that would hold off until the end of the world. There can be no ‘End Times’ nonsense applied to this reading. John saw souls that were totally committed to Yahweh, and thereby were one with the Lamb, who is the soul of Jesus. In verse nine, where the NRSV shows it saying, “with palm branches in their hands,” the reality of the Greek shows this is not a good translation.


The Greek written says: “kai phoinikes en tais chersin autōn .” The word “phoinikes” (“φοίνικες” and pronounced "phoenix") says “palm trees,” which are fully living plants. The same word in Greek can be found to indicate Phoenicians, where the root of that name implies something to do with date palms (not dead branches cut from them). The name is also said to have a relationship with the color purple – a sign of royalty, thus valuable.


When this segment of words is seen to begin with the word “kai,” indicating it is important to firmly grasp the meaning and intent, to translate it as “palm trees within these hands themselves,” one can see within their souls (“themselves”) was a growing plant (like a vine), one that denoted a royal hue. This was “within” their beings. As such, each was a “hand” of Yahweh and the Lamb. To see imagery that has people holding palm branches must be seen as the danger this vision warned against. When a living growth becomes a severed (dead) branch, then no one has bowed down in submission to Yahweh, nor the Lamb.


When these living souls all cry out, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” that says “Salvation” is the promise. However, the Greek text does not present the word “salvation” as a capitalized word (“sōtēria”). Instead, a capitalized “” preceded that word, which shows divinely elevated “This” as being that which delivers souls to this state of being saved. “This” is then Yahweh and His sending the Lamb to them.


When the translation above shows, “they fell on their faces before the throne,” the Greek text shows, “epesan enōpion tou thronou epi ta prosōpa autōn,” which literally translates to state: “they fell prostrate before the face of this of throne upon these faces of themselves”. It is vital to see this segment of words as stating absolute submission to Yahweh, where the first commandment (the marriage vows a soul must agree to) says, “You shall not wear the face of any lesser gods before my face.” That says the face of self is a face that must bow down and “fall prostrate before the face of of this of throne.” The Genitive (possessive) case then says, the bowing down of one’s own “face” then allows one to stand around the throne, wearing the face of Yahweh. This is the symbolism of marriage, when one’s own name and identity is forever given away. The face one wears to the world (as a wife) is that of one’s husband. When Yahweh is that Holy Husband, then one wears His face to the world. This is then the “face” of righteousness. When the face of Jesus (the Lamb) is part of that submission, that face leads one to wear the face of Yahweh. Again, “autōn” is a statement of “their souls” (“themselves”), where it is souls wearing this face, not physical bodies.


Just as the soul of Isaiah was taken into conversation with the divine, so too was John in his vision. When we read, “Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "Sir, you are the one that knows." This must be seen as the spiritual entity who questions each and every soul sent forth by Yahweh, asking, “Do you know how to sing praises about salvation?” When this spirit is identified as one of the “elders” (“presbyterōn”), which means that soul was “matured with seasoned judgment” – meaning “experienced” with the Spirit, wearing the face of Yahweh and the Lamb – this projects the need in the physical realm to have Apostles and Saints. While being filled with the Spirit makes one’s soul be guided by a Yahweh elohim, the question posed by the “elder” came from an “adonay” or “teacher.” This is the soul of Jesus speaking to the soul of John. Therefore, John responded by saying, “Kyrie mou,” or “Lord of me.” When he said that, the question came from within John’s soul, from Jesus’ soul being his “Lord.” All “elders” have been reborn as Jesus.


When this “elder” is then shown to tell John’s soul, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal,” the Greek text written here says this: “Houtoi eisin hoi erchomenoi ek tēs thlipseōs tēs megalēs”. That literally translates to say, “These they exist those coming from out of of this of persecution of this of great”. In this, the Genitive (possessive) case must be applied to the last four words, where the possession has to be understood as divine. To see “of this” repeated (“tēs”), “this” is the possession by Yahweh that refers back to the capitalized “These” (“Houtoi”). “These” are all the souls surrounding the throne and the Lamb, who sing praises of salvation. Because the number of “These” is too many to count (from early in verse nine), that confirms a divine possession that is “of great” or “of exceedingly high” numbers. This leaves the words “erchomenoi ek” and “thlipseōs” – “coming from out of” “of persecution” – to be understood.


The word “coming” has to be seen as souls arriving before the throne for the first time. This word should be read as these souls having been raised from the dead, where death is the trap of a soul in a physical body of flesh, existing in the material realm. Just as Isaiah and John had visions of the spiritual realm, while still alive in their bodies of flesh, the word “coming” means “arrival” before the throne, after having sacrificed their self-will and self-ego to serve Yahweh and be reborn as the Lamb. By understanding that, the “persecution” has to be seen as the temptations to sin that bombard a soul while in the flesh. The same word (“thlipseōs”) can be translated as “tribulation,” which takes on some ‘End Times’ air that is difficult to grasp. The meaning of “tribulation” is (simply stated) “a trying experience.” This says a soul sent into a body of flesh has been placed into a realm where pain and suffering is commonplace. To escape from that worldly condition, a soul must marry Yahweh and be resurrected as His Son.


When the “elder” then said, “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” the “robes” (“stolas”) becomes metaphor for their souls having led lives in sinful bodies of flesh. The use of “white” implies “purity,” which makes a body of flesh become virginal, becoming synonymous with a “chaste” state of being (a virgin). It is then into that washed clean (the Baptism of the Spirit) state of being that the “blood” relationship makes one both the mother and the brother of Jesus resurrected. To be the ”blood of the Lamb” is to be Jesus reborn in the flesh, his soul one with one’s own soul. That presence in one’s soul then allows that soul to be “coming” before the throne and the Lamb, saved and freed from the “tribulations” of worldly existence.


When we read, “For this reason they are before the throne of God,” here again is the word “enōpion” mean “before the face of,” where one’s soul can only come before the throne of Yahweh wearing His face.


When we read, “worship him day and night within his temple,” there is only the light of truth in the spiritual realm of Yahweh. Thus, “day and night” designates a worldly presence, with day being the light of truth that guides one during the darkness of a world that produces tribulations. The “temple” is one’s body of flesh, so one’s “worship” is obedience to the guidance of the soul of Jesus within.


When we read, “the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them,” the spiritual ‘place’ of the “throne” is within one’s heart center, which aligns with one’s soul. This is the meaning of the Arthurian saying, “the king and the kingdom are one.” Heaven is not some distant place to find outside of one’s being, because it is always within. To seek Yahweh is to seek within one’s soul. Thus, the “throne” is at a place within that needs total spiritual submission from everything physical, in order to be able to find. Once found, the “shelter” is the Spirit that surrounds one, making one be Anointed (a Christ) by Yahweh.


When we read, “They will hunger no more, and thirst no more,” this is an unending supply of spiritual food (manna from heaven) and ever-living waters that replenish one’s soul. The element of “thirst” is a desire for cleansing of past sins.


When we read, “the sun will not strike them,” this needs further examination. The Greek text written here is this: “oude mē pesē ep’ autous ho hēlios,” which literally states: “not lest they shall fall on the basis of their souls (“themselves”) this sunlight”. From having just said one’s soul will no longer find “hunger” for spiritual food or “thirst” for redemption, the continuation then says, “neither not they shall fall.” Here, “to fall” means to fail Yahweh or go against (alternate translation of “ep’”) the Lord of “their souls” – Jesus. Thus, this is a promise that “sunlight” will never be denied them. While the physical realm has night and day, the “sun” of Jesus' truth will always be shining within.


To then have this followed by John writing, “nor any scorching heat,” this actually says, “nor any burning” (from “oude pan kauma”). This is then saying none will be dead limbs or unproductive vines that get trimmed away and cast into the fire. Salvation keeps all souls producing as the good fruit of the vine that is Jesus the Lamb and Yahweh on the throne.


When we then read, “for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,” this places the focus of this reading (on Good Shepherd Sunday) on David having sung, “Yahweh is my shepherd.” From marrying Yahweh one will become His possession, as one of His flock. Yahweh will then send His Son (just as Jesse sent David) to shepherd that flock. The Lamb does not sit on the throne. Yahweh does. Jesus is at the right hand, where souls become the living vines that become his hands. This is how the sheep know the voice of Jesus.


When John wrote, “he will guide them to springs of the water of life,” this is as David wrote, “he leads me beside still waters.” This is the ever-living waters of purity, which replenishes one’s soul forever.


When this reading ends with John writing, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes,” it is important to realize “God” or Yahweh is the source of all goodness. There can be no “good” shepherd without Yahweh. Jesus is the Lamb, so the sheep will identify with him as the one sacrificed to save their souls from death. All tears come from realizing the mortality of life in a body of flesh. Those tears are wiped away when salvation has been gained. That promise of eternal life comes from the complete submission of one’s soul to Yahweh. Once saved, then the Lamb will be sent to protect Yahweh’s possession.


As a reading on Good Shepherd Sunday, it is vital to know Yahweh is one’s shepherd. Jesus is the Lamb sent by Yahweh to watch over His flock. Modern Christians read David’s Psalm 23 and see artist renderings of Jesus watching over a flock. Their minds soon think David claimed Jesus was his shepherd, when David never knew the inner soul of the Christ by that name. There can be nothing “good” without the presence of God within. A “Good Shepherd” comes from Yahweh’s love for His flock. As the Lamb, Jesus is possessed by Yahweh. Jesus is the soul of Adam, made by the hand of Yahweh – a Yahweh elohim – a creation to be the “Good Shepherd.” It is vital to know that the way it works is not being allowed to be a black sheep that always comes baaahing, “Forgive me,” so one can then resume being a sinful soul. One must fully submit one’s soul to Yahweh, before one can ever begin to expect Jesus to come watch over your soul. The reason John’s Revelation is feared is people know how much fun it is being a dirty little sheep, afraid to be found and then scrubbed clean spiritually. To be that means forevermore commitment. One must agree to the terms of marriage; and, the first rule is to always bow down before Yahweh, only standing before the throne when one wears His face. Selfish sheep refuse to do that. Thus, the ‘End Times’ are not pleasant to think about.

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