This series of posts is my attempt to demonstrate that the language of the Revelation was actually symbolic code that was very intelligible to a first-century Jewish Christian living in the Roman Empire. I’m re-writing the Revelation to communicate the same message, but to a twenty-first century American Christian audience, using symbols we understand. This particular section parallels Revelation chapter 7. If you want to catch up, here’s a PDF of the entire series so far: The Revelation to JR – Chapters 1-7.
Then I looked and saw four angels standing at the four cardinal directions. They were holding back the four winds so that nothing was moving anywhere – on land or sea. I saw another angel who was coming up with the dawn, and he held God’s notary seal. He called out to the four angels who had been given power to damage the land and seas,
Don’t damage the land or sea – or anything on them, even the trees! – until we’ve notarized the servants of our God with a seal on their heads and their wallets.
Then I heard how many were notarized – five hundred billion, notarized from every tribe of God’s chosen people.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Reformed churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Emergent churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Immigrant churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Baptist churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Black churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Catholic churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Mainline Protestant churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Pentecostal churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Orthodox churches.
Fifty billion were notarized from the Evangelical churches.
Then I looked and all around me was an enormous multitude that no one could even begin to count. It was full of people from every country, ethnicity, language, demographic and people group. They were all standing in front of the desk and the Lamb, dressed in white graduation robes and waving campaign signs. As one, they shouted,
Salvation belongs to our God who is seated at the desk and to the Lamb!
All the angels stood around the desk and around the congresspersons and the four creatures, and they saluted in front of the desk and worshiped God by pledging their allegiance, singing,
Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
And thanksgiving and honor and power and strength
Be to our God forever and ever! Amen!
Then one of the congresspersons addressed asked me,
Who are these, dressed in white graduation robes, and where did they come from?
I responded, “Sir, you know better than I.” So he told me,
They’re the people who have finished the great trial. They’ve washed their graduation robes in the blood of the Lamb until they’re white. That’s why they’re before God’s desk, worshiping him 24/7 in his Oval Office.
The one seated at the Desk protects them. They’re never going to be hungry or thirsty again. They’re not going to swept away in a hurricane or buried in an earthquake because the Lamb at the center of the Desk will be their shepherd. He’s going to guide them safely to the springs of the water of life, and God is going to wipe away every tear they’ve cried.