The Great Multitude in Heaven: Page 4 of 4 (Lessons on Revelations)
by John Lowe
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
It would be impossible to number the people who have found comfort in this passage (especially vs. 16 and 17) in the time of sickness and at the hour of death.
There is a spiritual promise here, the promise of the ultimate satisfying of the hunger and the thirst of the human soul. This is a promise which occurs again and again in the New Testament, and especially in the words of Jesus. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). Jesus said: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger; and he who believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Jesus said: “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). God has made us for Himself, as Augustine said, and our hearts are restless till they rest in him.
We do well to remember that John found the origin of this verse in the words of Isaiah: “They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them” (Isaiah 49:10). This is a supreme example of an Old Testament dream finding it’s perfect fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
This verse definitely identifies the multitude as Tribulation saints. During the reign of the Antichrist no one can buy or sell without having upon himself the mark of the Beast. Those who refuse to receive the mark cannot buy or sell; those who receive it cannot be saved. Therefore, these same people, having refused to receive the mark of the Beast, will be forced to hide out under the heat of the sun by day and the stars by night. Many times they will be hungry—destitute for food. They cannot buy food . . . they will be forced to beg or steal. Therefore, “they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more,” because God Almighty will take care of them from that moment forward. They will endure terrible tribulation, but it will be worth it all when they see the face of Jesus.
Despite the wrath of God and the terror inspired by Satan and his helpers, multitudes will be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. No matter what the age or dispensation, God’s way of salvation has always been the same: faith in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
Sad to say, however, multitudes during that time will also reject the Savior and trust “the beast.” But are there not people today who prefer Satan to Christ and the world to the world to come? They are just as condemned as the Tribulation sinners who receive the “mark of the beast.”
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall
lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Here we have the two great functions of the Divine Shepherd. He leads to fountains of living waters. As the psalmist said: “He leads me beside still waters” (Psalm 23:2). “With thee is the fountain of life” (Psalm 36:9). Without water the flock would perish; and in Palestine the Wells were few and far between. That the Divine Shepherd leads to wells of water is an indication that he gives us the things without which life cannot survive.
He wipes the tears from every eye means there will be no crying, sorrow, or pain in the presence of the Lord. As He nourishes our bodies so He also comforts our hearts; without the presence and the comfort of God the sorrows of life would be unbearable, and without the strength of God there are many times in life when we could never go on.
The lamb continues to feed and lead His own. Think of it! The Lamb is the Shepherd graciously providing for every need. There shall be no want. This is in striking contrast to that which they will suffer at the hands of the Antichrist when food distribution is all under his control, and the rivers become blood under the vile judgments (Revelation 16:4), and the sun scorches the earth with a great heat (Revelation 16:8-9). The lot of those saved in the tribulation will be one of remarkable deliverance and victory along with the termination of all the earth’s sufferings. Under the guiding hand of the Lamb every provision will be available to His people. And just think of it—the Lamb is now our Shepherd! The Divine Shepherd gives us nourishment for our bodies and comfort for our hearts. With Jesus Christ as our Shepherd nothing can happen to us which we cannot bear.
“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them.” “In the midst of the throne” means, “in the middle point in front of the throne.” “Feed,” means “tend as a shepherd.”
Though the chapters of Revelation are not all in chronological sequence, chapter 7 depicts a scene in heaven which precedes the second coming of Christ to the earth. Those seen in heaven were said to come out of the Great Tribulation” (v. 14). But the chapter accordingly indicates how they will be marvelously blessed in heaven after their trials on earth. The 144,000 will appear again (14:1-5), and the multitude of martyrs who were killed for refusing to worship the beast appear again at the time of the resurrection in 20:4. That they are not Millennial saints should be evident from the fact that they will be in heaven before God’s throne, and will have been resurrected.
The closing words our chapter are unequaled in depth and tenderness.
“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Modern believers should take note that suffering in this life, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, will one day yield to unfathomable bless. What an encouragement!
Sorrow shall not always have the upper hand. The day is coming on earth when God will have removed every semblance of the cause of tears.