And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
 saying, “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 answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”
 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and 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 they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
 “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;
 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
The 7 Year Great Tribulation can be divided into two periods.
That is; the first half and the second half.
When comparing the 3 1/2 years of the first half to the second half, the environment of the 1st half is relatively better.
Of course, serious natural disasters and wars are taking place in every place during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Prior to this time, such terrible disasters as these were unimaginable.
But still, the degree of the calamity during the 1st half is less terrible than during the 2nd half.
During the 1st half, the persecution of those who believe in the Lord is not so serious yet.
But as time goes by, the EU will reveal its true identity, and the degree of persecution will become increasingly more intense.
It is during the 1st half of the 7 Year Great Tribulation that God sets up 144,000 evangelizers.
This is still within the period of time that the circumstances and conditions for proclaiming the gospel are sanctioned.
The 144,000 evangelizers, who are being set up in this period of time, are the people who have the center-of-heart to be able to sacrifice even their lives for the Lord.
Even though it is a short period of time, countless people will reach salvation through them.
By the way, I told you that the souls saved in this way are different from the chaff-like believers who later will fall to the earth and barely receive salvation through martyrdom.
These people are the ones who come near falling into hell without having the opportunity to know Jesus Christ properly.
However, they are given a chance to accept Jesus Christ, and then reach salvation.
No wonder they give only thanks over and over again.
Now, they are clothed in white robes, and palm branches are in their hands.
The white robe is the mark of salvation.
And palm branch is a symbol of victory. Therefore, waving this palm branch is giving worship and glory.
They are also crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
They give praise and glory with such a loud voice out of the joy of salvation.
When you are full of joy and grace, even though nobody tells you to do so you will praise and pray with such a loud voice.
But this loud voice is not harsh or bothersome to others.
Even though it’s loud, since it’s full of grace and spirit, it rather brings grace to others as well.
When those who are saved by the grace of God are giving glory to God, there is a response.
The verses 11 & 12 say, “And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.””
There are the 24 Elders and the 4 living creatures around the throne of God.
And countless angels and their leaders are also arranged around the throne.
Responding to the praise of the saved souls, these angels are also worshipping God.
It is this time when an elder asks a question of Apostle John.
That is, the verse 13 says, “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?””
Is this elder asking this question truly because he doesn’t know about those clothed in white robes?
Of course he knows who these souls are who are clothed in the white robes!
The reason he is questioning him about it is because he wants the Apostle John to understand it and to have more firm confidence.
In other words, even though he already knows the answer, he is purposely asking the question.
In doing it this way, others can understand it better than if they had just been given information.
Others can have clearer understanding of it.
They can also ask themselves why he is asking the question, and they can realize something by themselves.
From time to time, I myself also ask those people around me what I already know.
Some of them answer me, while thinking, “Why is he asking the question again even though he already knows the answer?”
On the other hand, there are some others who ask themselves why I’m asking such a question, and come to understand my inner thoughts.
They do so because they know from their experience that there is no word I speak without any meaning in it.
In some other times, I intentionally ask a question of someone and give him a chance so that he can realize his fault by himself.
There are times I ask them a question to arouse their attention.
Or I ask a question so that others can bear something in mind clearly.
Likewise, there are times people ask a question with some sort of purpose, not because they don’t know something.
There was an incident when Jesus said to His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
Do you think Jesus didn’t really know what people said about Him?
But still, He asked His disciples.
Then, His disciples, as written in Matthew 16:14, “said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.””
There were bad words regarding Jesus, and His disciples didn’t tell Him about them.
What they did was completely different from deceiving a senior or hiding information.
It was rather a positive confession of faith in goodness.
Seeing His disciples’ faith, Jesus ask them another spiritual question.
The Lord said, as written Matthew 16:15, “But who do you say that I am?”
Then, Simon Peter, one of His disciples answered.
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Thanks to this confession, Peter received amazing spiritual blessing from the Lord.
In order to give blessing, I myself sometimes ask a question.
If someone understands the question spiritually, and answers the question, there will be great blessing in spirit and flesh.
You can find a question that Jesus asked of two blind men in Matthew 20:32.
Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Then, the two blind men said, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”
As a result, the eyes of the two blind men were opened.
However, what if the two blind men used a thought of the flesh?
“How can He ask us what we want while He knows we are blind? Is He joking?”
“Does Jesus have to ask us what we want? Why doesn’t He know it without asking us?”
If they had used this kind of thought of the flesh, they wouldn’t have received answers.
However, chances are that many workers or members of this church use their thought of the flesh like this.
Their spiritual understanding is slow, and the blessing comes upon them slowly for this reason.
It would be good if they were able to realize why I ask such a question, spiritually understand it, and bear it in mind.
Now, who are those clothed in white robes in the scripture, and where are they from?
As I explained to you earlier, they are the souls who reach salvation through the Gleaning Salvation during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
However, among them (those who were saved) are not only those who are the barely saved souls, but also those who are the 144,000 bond-servants of God.
Though all of them are wearing white robes, the white robes worn by those who were the barely saved souls and the robes that the 144,000 servants of God are wearing are different.
They reach salvation during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, but some of them go to the 3rd kingdom of Heaven, and some others go to the outskirts of Paradise.
Apostle Paul didn’t know all these details at this time yet.
That’s why he said to the elder who asked him a question, “My lord, you know.”
Then, the elder explains those clothed in white robes.
The verses 14-17 say, “he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and 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 they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.””
The elder already knew the very details of those clothed in white robes.
Despite this, he asked Apostle Paul the question.
In other words, the elder made Apostle Paul think about it thoroughly.
This way, when the elder explains about them in detail, Apostle Paul can understand it more clearly and bear it in mind better.
First, the elder said they are “the ones who come out of the Great Tribulation.”
It means that they kept their faith during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, and reached salvation.
What they did was never an easy thing to do.
Nevertheless, they had good conscience and with that they were able to accept the Lord and keep their faith till the end even during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Moreover, those 144,000 bond-servants of God received special grace from God.
They are qualified not just to receive salvation, but also to enter the 3rd kingdom of Heaven.
Therefore, when the elder said, “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” it has two meanings.
The one is that they just received salvation, and the other is that they washed their hearts clean.
Since the “robe” refers to the heart, “washing the robe and making it white in the blood of the Lamb” means the attainment of sanctification.
Therefore, among those clothed in the white robes, mentioned in tonight’s scripture; some are those who are barely saved, but some others are those who will go to the 3rd kingdom of heaven.
Keeping the faith and reaching salvation without compromising with the world during the 7 Year Great Tribulation is a great job.
And it is greater that they cast off every form of evil and circumcised their hearts even in that situation.
It is more so because they heard the word of God and circumcised their hearts out of their good conscience even without the help of the Holy Spirit.
The fact is that those books published by this church will become great help to them during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Through various materials regarding the word of God such as these books, they will come to understand ‘sanctification,’ which is the will of God.
In addition, these books will wake up countless souls during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Those who learned to arm themselves from these books will go out to preach what they have learned.
Those books published by this church will play such an important role.
Therefore, we have to translate those books into as many languages as possible, and distribute them to every corner of the world.
Now, the scripture says that these saved souls during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, especially those 144,000 bond-servants of God “are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple.”
But you should not misunderstand this in your fleshly thought.
When we go to heaven, not just anyone can stand before the throne of God.
Furthermore, it is such glorious duty to serve God in His temple day and night.
This kind of duty is not a duty that can be assigned to those souls who are saved through Gleaning Salvation.
Of course, there are servants of God who are qualified to enter the 3rd kingdom of heaven.
However, they, too, cannot come before the throne of God.
Then, why did the elder say so?
When we go to heaven, God searches not only New Jerusalem, but also every place in heaven.
Thus, no matter where you dwell in heaven, it’s eventually like standing before the throne of God.
As long as God wants, no matter where a soul is in heaven, God can communicate with the soul as if the soul were before the throne of God.
Of course, it is different from having conversation with God face to face.
Since heaven is a spiritual place that belongs to God, however, whenever God wants, He can communicate with a soul wherever the soul is.
In addition, in every place of heaven, people can watch live events that take place before the throne of God.
As I already explained to you in “Heaven” sermon, through a screen-like device that is unfold in sky, people can see the live “broadcast” as if they were standing before the throne of God.
By the way, those who enter the 3rd kingdom of heaven, even though they are saved through the Gleaning Salvation, they are qualified to see the Lord.
They can also be invited to a feast or a banquet that is held before God the Trinity in New Jerusalem.
For those who once enter Paradise, it’s actually not easy to go to New Jerusalem forever.
Just the souls who are the leaders in Paradise can be given the chance once.
And, even though they are invited by someone in New Jerusalem, they themselves are ashamed of entering into to New Jerusalem.
To say nothing of those who go to the outskirts of paradise!
Now, when the scripture says, “they serve Him day and night in His temple,” it doesn’t mean either that they truly serve God in His temple day and night.
In a broader sense, ‘His temple’ in this verse indicates the whole heaven.
Thus, ‘serving God in His temple’ is “serving God in heaven.’
Also, the meaning of ‘serving’ is not ‘attending or ministering.’ It is ‘to worship and praise God.’
However, there are those who will actually serve God the Trinity in His temple day and night.
Psalm 101:6 says, “My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.”
If someone is properly qualified according to this word, he will be given such a glorious position.
Next, the elder says, “He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.”
God gives each saved soul a proper dwelling place in heaven.
Those who enter the 1st kingdom of heaven or better, they will be given an individual house.
Of course, to those who go to Paradise, a place where they can dwell together in common will be given.
“Spreading His tabernacle over” has two meanings.
First, it means that God prepares a place for those souls who barely go to paradise.
“Tabernacle” is “a small tent under which a man can escape rain or the sun.”
It doesn’t refer to a house in a fixed location, but to a temporal and mobile place.
Likewise, an immovable individual place is not given to a soul who goes to Paradise.
They are given only a place where they can take a rest in a certain situation.
But to those who go to the 1st kingdom of heaven or better, ‘tabernacle’ has a little different meaning.
The second meaning of “Spreading tabernacle” is “giving a personal place” unlike in Paradise.
God rewards them with beautiful awards and a tabernacle in heaven according to what they have done on earth.
Especially, the tabernacle that is given to the souls who go to the 3rd kingdom is completely different from the tabernacle given to those who go to 2nd kingdom of heaven or below.
Even the best place in the 2nd kingdom of heaven is equipped with only one facility that an individual desires.
On the other hand, those who go to the 3rd kingdom of heaven or better can have whatever they want.
Of course, the houses in the 3rd kingdom are also different from the houses in New Jerusalem.
Therefore, if you truly have faith and hope for heaven, you will surely try so hard to go to the 3rd kingdom of heaven or better, the city of New Jerusalem.
Don’t you think you cannot but try hard to go to a better place in heaven if you truly believe that there is heaven, and that there is great difference between each dwelling places?
If you don’t long for a better heaven, and if you don’t try to take heaven by force, it proves that you don’t truly believe it.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Those who are saved during the 7 Year Great Tribulation are those who experience the most serious tribulation.
Especially those who believe in the Lord will receive even more severe persecution and tribulation.
While in thirst and in hunger, they will experience various harms. Yet they have to overcome such persecution and tribulation.
But, once it’s over and when they receive salvation and go to heaven, there will be no more thirst, hunger, or harm.
Since God will wipe every tear from their eyes, they will never have to shed tears.
God wipe all the tears that they shed in their repentance, or under persecution and tribulation; al the tears they shed during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Those chaff-like believers who fell down to the earth, will have undergone the most severe afflictions and persecution, and barely reached salvation through martyrdom; they especially shed many more tears.
They cried out in repentance for not living a proper believing life when God gave them a chance.
But when they achieved victory by martyrdom, God also wipes such tears.
But under no conditions should you have to go through this process.
All you have to do is to be caught up in the air when the Lord comes back, and participate in the Wedding Banquet.
Then, you can enter beautiful heaven without tears of sorrow or pain.
I hope that all of you will choose this way.
In the next lecture, we will take a look into the incident that will take a place when the 7th seal is broken.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
When we go to heaven, God doesn’t wipe the tears of only those who overcome the affliction of the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
You, too, must have shed many tears while living a believing life.
But the tears that you shed when you were a novice believer or when your faith was weak, and the tears that you shed when your faith has been mature have different meaning.
The tears you shed because of sin, the tears you shed during the refinements or persecution, the tears you shed because of your evil or ill-feelings; these are the tears that you shed when you didn’t completely cast off sin but stayed in the flesh.
However, once you come into spirit, you no longer shed such fleshly tears.
You will shed only the tears for the kingdom of God, and for the dying souls, or the tears out of grace, inspiration, joy, and thanks.
The more such tears you shed, the better as long as you don’t go too far even to mourn.
Every drop of such tears doesn’t disappear in vain without any meaning.
The tears will be brought into heaven by angels, and they will be piled up as rewards.
In heaven, God will pay you with beautiful rewards and glory for the tears you shed.
Now them, what kind of teats do you have to shed?
No matter how many tears you shed, as long as you shed them to struggle against sin, they will not become rewards.
That’s because they are the tears that you must shed to cast off sin as children of God.
Therefore, I urge you to cast off sin and come into spirit quickly, and to shed tears that will pile up as rewards in heaven.
And please shed tears of joy, thanks, and happiness.
Don’t forget to shed tears for the countless dying souls in the world without knowing the Lord.
I hope that your believing life will be full of tears of grace and inspiration.
May you become a soul as beautiful as pearl after you shed such tears, and openly pass the twelve pearl gates of New Jerusalem, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!