15 Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” ~ Revelation 7:15-17
We return to the scene in heaven before the throne of God where those saved out of the great Tribulation are arriving in heaven. The curtain is being pulled back by God for us to see the activity of eternity for the redeemed. And, everyone in heaven is captivated by the One who laid down His life for His friends.
In v.15 we read, "Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence."
The word “serve” is a priestly word, and it describes the rendering of spiritual worship. These who are serving have been washed in the blood of the Lamb for the very reason that they may come before the throne of God: to worship Him day and night in His temple. In the Millennium, there will be a temple, the millennial temple. There will be a temple in heaven, also. There will be two temples, one in heaven and one on earth.
A description of the Millennial throne is given in the prophecy of Micah 4:1-6. There the prophet describes the government of God as centered in Jerusalem. Justice will flow out from there to all the earth and the nations will bring their tribute to the Lord. Peace will reign and men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and will make war no more. Peace will come at last over all the earth. There will be one thousand years of peace. And, then, the end will come.
In Revelation 21:22 we read, "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple."
At this point in the timeline, we are beyond the Millennium. This is in eternity and time is over. And, in eternity, there will not be a temple, per se. There will be no need for a Temple and God will be with man everywhere.
During the Millennium there will be a temple, a place where God will dwell in an otherwise still-fallen universe, partially restored but not fully. In the eternal state, God doesn’t need a temple because there will be no evil in the universe and He will be the temple, the dwelling place of holiness.
We are told that "they will serve the Lord day and night." As you know, there is no day or night in heaven. So, this is clearly an earthly scene. He who sits on the throne, the throne of David, will spread his "tabernacle" over them and never again will they hunger or thirst. This is a beautiful description of the blessings of that millennial day.
At the end of v.15 we read, "he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence." God's very presence will become for all in heaven, protection. Never again will anyone harm these citizens of heaven, never again will there be suffering and pain.
In v.16 we read, "Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat."
During the Tribulation, the tribulation saints will experience hunger and thirst. In fact, they will experience great hunger and great thirst because they will refuse to take the mark of the beast in Revelation 13. And, the intensity of their hunger and thirst will be magnified and intensified. But, this verse ensures that those days will come to an end. And, God says, "NEVER AGAIN."
In v.17 we read, "For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
As we have seen, the question asked at the end of Revelation 6, "who is able to stand?," is answered in Revelation 7. First, the 144,000 Israelites who will be sealed on their foreheads with the seal of the living God, because of the presence of the Hoy Spirit in their lives, they will be able to stand during the revealing of the wrath of the Lamb. They will be sealed by the Holy Spirit as God’s possession and will be protected from the persecution of the Antichrist. In fact, they will be the greatest missionary force ever known as they go into all the world with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. People will come to the Lord in unprecedented numbers at that time.
The second group who will be able to stand during the unveiling of the wrath of the Lamb is that innumerable multitude. These are in heaven because of the witness of the 144,000. These will have been martyred for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They will refuse to get the mark of the beast, and they, therefore, will be unable to buy and sell anything during the second half of the Tribulation. They will be on the run as they are hunted down and murdered for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But, as we have seen, their story will end very well.
Finally, tears are a common theme throughout the Bible. In fact, the word "tear" appears 13 times, and the word "tears" appears 36 times. According to Psalm 56:8, God collects the tears of His people in His bottle. God is not unaware of our struggles. He is not apathetic to our pain. He understands, because He has felt the burdens we feel. He felt loneliness and He tasted abandonment while hanging on the cross. And, when it is all over, He will underscore Psalm 126:5 which reads, "Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy."