Monday, 14 December 2020
All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, Revelation 7:11
After noting the great multitude and hearing their cry of praise, John next says that “All the angels stood around the throne.” The verb is a pluperfect being used as an imperfect. It more correctly says, “were standing.” In other words, the angels were standing around the throne watching the scene of the great multitude just presented. These are the angels referred to in verse 5:11 –
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.”
Like in verse 5:11, this verse now also includes “the elders and the four living creatures.”
The elders are those first referred to in verse 4:4. Of them, it said there –
“Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.”
The four living creatures were then first presented just a couple verses later in Chapter 4 –
“Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within.” Revelation 4:6-8
What is seen here is an outer circle comprising the angels. From there, the thrones of the twenty-four elders forms the next grouping, and that is then followed by a circle of the four living creatures. Within that circle, and near the throne, stands this great multitude. And on the throne sits the Lamb.
Of this vast multitude of the heavenly hierarchy which is now accompanied by this great multitude adorned in white, John says that they “fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.” The implication is that this is occurring because of the presence of this great multitude. So vast is the number of redeemed, that the entire heavenly congregation falls down in praise to God for what has been accomplished.
What must be explained is the fact that the great multitude is actually closer to the throne than are the angels. There is a heavenly hierarchy being presented here and the angels, beings who were created sinless and who have never sinned, are outside of the redeemed who were sinners. How can this be?
The answer is found in Ephesians 2:13, which explains what occurs when a person, Jew or Gentile, receives Christ as Savior – “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Because of Jesus Christ’s work, those who are saved by Him are covered in His perfection, symbolized by the white garments. They are deemed as sinless, and their past sins can never be brought forth again.
Life application: The infinite gap between God and fallen man is restored through the Person of Jesus Christ. The angels come after us because they are, as stated in Hebrews 1:14, “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” The honors granted to the fallen sons of Adam are immense when Jesus is received as Lord. Sins are washed away and the benefit of being in the very presence of God is restored.
Hallelujah and amen for our great and awesome Lord! He is the One who suffered on Calvary’s cross in order to redeem fallen man to Himself. He is splendid. He is arrayed in light and majesty. He is JESUS.
Lord, it’s hard for us to grasp the complete significance of what You have done for us. We have sinned and rebelled, and yet You have lovingly granted us restoration to You and release from the debts we owed. How can we do anything but praise You for Your majesty and glory. Thank You for every good and kind blessing You have bestowed upon Your unworthy servants. Amen.