Seven Peoples Of The World
Seven groups of people are referred to in the book of Revelation. The subject is noteworthy and offered here for reflection and meditation, and we surely need to compare it with "all the counsel of God", and realize that this is prophecy speaking in anticipation of the end of time for man, soon to come.
1. The Church --bride of Christ (Rev.1:4; 2:1-3; 21:1-2; 22:16 & 17; etc.). One can begin at Acts 2: 41-42, and continue through the Epistles reading about the Church: what it is, how it began, who is in it, the translation up out of this world, its place eternally with Christ ---the
Bridegroom. The "bride" speaks of the intimate relationship of all those believers who are saved by faith in Christ (John 14:6) , and will be taken up to Him before God begins to pour out His wrath on the world during the Tribulation period; and it shall return WITH Christ when He comes down to reign during the Millennium time.
2. The Old Testament saints, and the "four and twenty elders" (Rev.4:4; 21:9-12; etc.) mentioned numerous times. These elders are often seen as representative of all the redeemed---both Old and New Testament. They may speak of twelve leaders of the tribes of Israel and the twelve N.T. apostles ---we are not told. One should note that the O.T. faithful saints went to be with Abraham in his place of blessing (presumably Hades ---a holding place) when they died (Luke 16:19-31). It seems it was here that the Lord visited after His death to show Himself to those faithful ones who had never known Him, and take them to Heaven (see Eph.4:7-10). The O.T. saints spoke of God in Heaven and their going to Him. Job could say: "though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me" (Job 19).
3. The martyrs of the tribulation (Rev.6:9-11; 11:3-12; 17:6; 20:4; etc.). These faithful saints, like other martyrs mentioned in the O.T. and N.T., stand firm for the Lord, and during the time of great tribulation they are killed for it. They die at the hands of religious and political leaders, but all by the working of Satan; yet God shall raise them.
4. The 144,000 remnant of Israel (Rev.7:4-8; Rev.12:5-6, & 12-17; Rev.14:1-5; etc.). Most of the so-called "Jews" of today (properly Israelites) cannot trace their lineage, and know not of which tribe they descend. They call themselves Jews (which refers to the blessed tribe of Judah),
but many might also be of the other lost tribes. God will preserve a remnant of 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes ---presumably those born during the Tribulation time (for in this present age they MUST come to God only through Jesus, the Christ ---their Messiah ) ---even as
all Gentiles; and this remant will serve to revive and preserve His covenanted people whom He scattered, and they shall have their eyes opened to confess their Messiah whom they have not known or rejected. These shall be preserved through the awful judgments on earth, and shall be God's special earthly people and government forever on the new earth.
5. The innumerable company of Gentiles (Rev.7:9-17; etc.). God's grace certainly extends to all mankind, and even as there are all nations represented in the church (Gal.3:28), God will have all mankind represented among His people on earth for all eternity (Rev.7:9). He will yet gather and preserve many who have not now known of Him.
6. The apostates (Rev.17:1-7; 20:7-9; 11-15; etc.). Apostates are those who are imitators and deceivers, and practice false religion for gain, and to draw away followers from God and deceive others (Acts 8:18-21). They have existed in all times (II Tim.3:1-5; Titus 1:15-16; Heb. 6:4-6; I John 2:19; etc.). God's wrath will surely be great against those who turn away and corrupt His testimony; and will end up in "the lake of fire" forever. Balaam was an apostate in his day of old.
7. The atheists and other non-believers (Rev.20:7-9; 11-15; etc.). Those who deny a Creator-God and fight against His testimony are Atheists. Other non-believers include such as those who want their own religious ideas to their imagined kind of a god, and will not surrender their will to our Creator and Father as shown in His Holy Word, and reject Christ as deity and the only Savior. They often invent their own religion or philosophy. They will also be sent to Hell-fire (Rev. 20:11-15; Rev. 21:8).
All non-believers who survive the Tribulation time on earth, will likely continue on in the Millennium time when Christ reigns; though they will be in subjection for awhile. Then these will join with Satan when he is released from the Abyss with his final attack against the Lord, be killed, and with Satan be cast into Hell-fire. All souls should feel the urgency to come to Jesus, the Christ of God, now.
- R. DeWitt: RP04; 2004; rev. 1/06.