Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by John Mark. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses eighteen through forty of the twelfth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find Mark’s accounting and recounting of an event which the apostle Matthew had previously recorded in his gospel account of Jesus’ life and ministry. As you begin reading with and from the eighteenth verse of the twelfth chapter you will find Mark recording a particular event within the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ when the Sadducees came unto and approached Jesus. It’s interesting and worth noting that when the Sadducees came unto Jesus, they came unto Him asking and inquiring concerning something that the neither believed in, nor accepted as a reality within their own theological scope and framework. I am convinced that in order to truly understand that which is found in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament gospel which John Mark wrote it is first necessary to transition back to the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel which the apostle Matthew wrote concerning the same event. One thing I find absolutely incredible and interesting concerning the Sadducees coming unto Jesus at this particular point within His life and ministry is that at this point in time He was preparing to suffer at the hands of the chief priests, the elders, the scribes and the religious leaders of that day. When the Sadducees approached Jesus concerning the resurrection, they were coming unto Him inquiring about a reality which—not only did they themselves not believe in and hold to, but would be a reality which Jesus would experience in just a few short days. I find it absolutely incredible when I consider how the Sadducees came unto Jesus asking and inquiring about the resurrection of the dead, for they were those who neither held to nor accepted and believed that there even was a resurrection from the dead. What’s more, is that there question and inquisition before Jesus was one that came on the heels of at least three different teachings which Jesus taught His disciples concerning His own suffering, death, and ultimately His resurrection. In fact, if you read the New Testament gospel of Mark, you will find three distinct and three different references which Jesus made concerning His suffering, His death, and ultimately His resurrection—each of which I am convinced lay the framework for a conversation the Sadducees would have with Jesus concerning the resurrection from the dead.
What’s more, is that Jesus would have a close friend named Lazarus whom He Himself would call forth from the grave and raise from death to life. Furthermore, is that I am reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Corinth concerning the resurrection of the saints from death to life in that moment when the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise. Consider first if you will the words which are recorded in the New Testament gospel which Mark wrote concerning the life and ministry of Jesus, and the words which our Lord Jesus spoke concerning His own suffering, death, and resurrection from death to life on the third day. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand Jesus’ own words concerning resurrection, for not only did Jesus declare of Himself that He was the resurrection and the life, but Jesus also knew and believed that as surely and as certainly as He would suffer and ultimately be put to death, the third day would come and He would be raised from death to life by the very Spirit of the living God. Jesus spoke of His own resurrection, and would even demonstrate and manifest the reality of resurrection within the lives of one of His own friends, for when Lazarus became sick, that sickness would ultimately claim his life and cause him to be buried in the grave. It is absolutely incredible and tremendous to think that the Sadducees would come unto Jesus questioning Him concerning the resurrection—particularly and especially considering the fact that Jesus had spent time speaking unto and teaching His disciples concerning His own resurrection from the grave. The Sadducees came unto Jesus asking Him concerning that which they neither held to nor accepted, and that which they did not believe in. Consider the words which our Lord Jesus the Christ spoke unto His disciples concerning His own suffering at the hands of the scribes, chief priests and elders of Israel, and how in each instance and in each case He would include in this teaching a declaration that He would rise from death to life again:
“And He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He spake that saying openly. And Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned about and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men” (Mark 8:31-33).
“And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead” (Mark 9:9).
“And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and He would not that any man should know it. For He taught His disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask Him” (Mark 9:30-32).
“And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto Him, saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again” (Mark 10:32-34).
There is a common thread that is woven through each of these specific occurrences and encounters which the disciples had with the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is that while it was true that Jesus did in fact speak of His suffering, as well as His death, He recognized, knew and understood that He would rise from death to life on the third day. Jesus knew that He would be betrayed into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders by one of His own, and yet in addition to the knowledge of His own suffering, Jesus also knew that with suffering and death would ultimately come resurrection from death to life, as He would emerge victorious and triumphant from the grave. When the Sadducees came unto Jesus asking Him questions concerning the resurrection from the dead, they were asking Him about something they neither believed in nor accepted. This actually strikes me as incredibly intriguing and captivating, for why on earth would they dare ask Jesus questions concerning something they neither believed in, nor even accepted. Why on earth would the Sadducees come unto Jesus and ask Him questions concerning resurrection from the dead when they themselves didn’t believe in resurrection? The Sadducees were those who neither held to, nor believed and accepted the fact that there was a resurrection from the dead, and yet here we find them coming unto and approaching Jesus and attempting to tempt Him with their questions concerning the resurrection. The apostle Matthew in his account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ is the one who brings us face to face with the fact that the Sadducees were of such who did not hold to—much less even believe the fact that there was a resurrection from death to life. Beginning with the twenty-third verse of the twenty-second chapter we will find the following words concerning the Sadducees and their encounter with Jesus the Christ concerning the resurrection from the dead:
“The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine” (Matthew 22:23-33).
The more I sit here and consider this particular encounter between the Sadducees and Jesus the Christ concerning the resurrection the more I can’t help but be reminded—first and foremost of Lazarus’ own encounter with death and resurrection, and how Lazarus was one who could most certainly testify to resurrection from the dead. While it is true that Lazarus was raised from death to life in the physical and natural sense in the here and now, his resurrection is a powerful type and shadow which points to the wonderful reality that resurrection is indeed and is in fact possible. When Jesus declared that He was indeed the resurrection and the life, and that those who believed in Him—though they were dead, yet shall they live—He was not misleading, lying or deceiving Lazarus’ sisters. I absolutely love that even before we read of Jesus Himself being raised from death to life we first read of His raising up Lazarus from death to life, and calling Lazarus himself out of the grave. This is actually quite compelling and quite revealing, for it’s almost as if it reveals and demonstrates unto us the wonderful and powerful truth that Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t even about Him. It is true that Jesus raised from death to life and that the Father would not allow His body to remain in the grave, but we must understand and come to terms with the fact that Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead wasn’t even really for Him, nor was it even really about Him. In fact, I would dare say that through Lazarus’ own resurrection from the grave we come face to face with the fact that Jesus’ resurrection was a type and shadow of a future resurrection that would take place when the trumpet will sound, but it was also a powerful statement concerning our own resurrection—both our resurrection in the here and now in the spiritual sense, as well as the resurrection which will take place in the future in the physical and natural sense. I am convinced that in order for us to truly understand the concept of resurrection from the dead it is absolutely imperative that we consider the account of Lazarus’ own resurrection, the words which are written and recorded concerning the graves of those righteous saints which were opened at Jesus’ death on the cross, and ultimately, the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Corinthian saints in the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle which was written unto them. What’s more, is that I am convinced that that which ties this all together is not even necessarily the concept of resurrection, but the concept of the living God being the God of the living rather than the God of dead, and the reality of heaven.
While this passage seems to be centered around and centered upon the reality of the resurrection, I am convinced that it is about something so much more—the reality that God is the God of the living rather than the dead, and the ultimate expression of resurrection, which is worship of the true and living God before His throne in heaven. Before we get into that which ties both the resurrection from the dead, as well as the fact that God is the God of the living who worship Him, let us first consider the account of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead, the account of those graves of the righteous which were opened at Jesus’ death, and finally the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning the resurrection from the dead in the first epistle which was written unto the Corinthian saints:
“Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be gloried thereby. Now Jesus loved Mara, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. Then after that saith He to His disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, He stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said He: and after that He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples, Lord, if she sleep, he shall do well. How best Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: and many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him: but Marty sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But Know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that He shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which would come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, GBehold, how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the yes of the blind, have caused that even this man’s should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sightseer of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been said four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him God” (john 11:1-44).
“Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in Twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:50-53).
“Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he that put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest, that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that aGod may be all in all. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I Protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and rink: for to morrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not: for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame…
“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from from another starry in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raise in incorruption: it is sown in dis honour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as it the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly…
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thank be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unloveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:12-58).
What I so absolutely love about the account of the resurrection of Lazarus is not even necessarily what we find in the accrual account of the resurrection, but what we find after the resurrection. If you read the eleventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find that Lazarus became sick, and that ultimately that sickness resulted in and produced his death. It was that sickness which claimed his life, and Jesus—rather than curing him of that sickness and driving that sickness out of his physical body, chose instead to abide and tarry where he was two more days. What is so incredibly wonderful about the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from death to life is that when Lazarus was raised from death to life, that sickness which was present in his body—that sickness which had claimed his life in the first place—was completely and utterly removed and destroyed within and from his physical body. In other words, while it is true that Jesus did not drive the sickness out while Lazarus remained alive, and while it is true that Lazarus was permitted to die, it would be through death that Jesus would destroy that sickness which plagued the body of Lazarus. This is actually quite interesting and intriguing, for there are times when the greatest work must be done—not while we are alive, but rather while we are dead. There are certain times when the greatest work which takes place within our lives is done not on this side of the grave and on this side of the stone, but behind the stone and within the grave. When Lazarus was raised from death to life, he wasn’t raised with a new physical body as was the case of Jesus when Jesus was raised from death to life, but Lazarus’ body was completely and utterly delivered and set free from that sickness which had claimed his life only four days earlier. I absolutely love the account of the resurrection of Lazarus from death to life, for Lazarus’ resurrection from death to life demonstrates the work that takes place in death—oftentimes a work that cannot be completed and performed on this side of the grave. When Lazarus was raised from death to life he was raised with the same body he had before, but the one distinct and fundamental difference was that his body no longer contained the sickness which he had struggled and wrestled with earlier. When Lazarus was raised from death to life, he was raised completely whole and completely delivered and set free from the sickness which had plagued and consumed his physical body. I am convinced that this is one of the main and underlying reasons why in the twelfth chapter we find Jesus—six days before the Passover—coming unto Bethany where Lazarus which was dead abode and dwelt with his sisters. It was there in Bethany where a supper was made for Jesus, and while Martha was serving, Lazarus was one of those that say at the table with Him. Consider the reality of being raised from death to life and in that resurrected state simply sitting at the table with Jesus in fellowship and communion.
It is this picture of a resurrected Lazarus sitting at the table in fellowship and communion with Jesus that I want us to have in the back of our minds as we consider the ultimate and underlying demonstration and manifestation of resurrection within our lives. The more I think about and the more I consider the reality and concept of resurrection from the dead—not only a spiritual resurrection which we experience in the here and the now, but also the resurrection which we will experience when the last trumpet shall sound—the more I can’t help but get the strong sense that resurrection is about one thing and one thing alone. When we consider resurrection it is absolutely necessary that we understand that resurrection has at the very heart of it communion and fellowship with the living God. It is not by coincidence or accident that Jesus declares that God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living, for God is the God of those who are alive, and those who are alive in fellowship and communion with Him. God is the God of the living, and those who are alive to worship Him with everything that is present within them, and with their entire beings. I absolutely love how Jesus declares that God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living, for that very statement suggests and speaks to the reality and concept of fellowship and communion with and before the living God. God is not the God of the dead—those who are unable to interact, fellowship and commune with Him—but the God of the living, and those who can freely interact with Him through worship, through praise, through exalting and entering into his courts with thanksgiving. With that being said, it is imperative that we understand that God is not the God of the dead—those who cannot worship Him freely and experience fellowship and relationship with Him—and that God is the God of those who are alive in Him, those who are alive before Him, and those who are alive in their spirits. It is absolutely critical that we understand that when Jesus declares that God is the God of the living, He is not even referencing those who are physically alive, but those who are spiritually alive, and those who have tasted and experienced resurrection life and resurrection power within the very depths of their being. What’s more, is that what we find and what we read in Jesus’ encounter is a wonderful and powerful signpost that points us directly to the reality fellowship and communion with the living God, and the ultimate expression of worship and adoration of the living God when we worship before and around His throne in heaven. I would leave you with a few passages found within the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, for through them we not only see the seraphim, the cherubim, the angels, and the elders and living creatures worshipping the living God who sits upon the throne, but we also see a great host and company of resurrected ones who were resurrected to spend eternity fellowshipping with and worshipping the God who not only sits upon the throne, but the God is the God of the living—the God of the resurrected ones who were raised from death to life in order that they might worship the true and living God. Jesus’ resurrection was necessary as the firstfruits in order that through His resurrection we ourselves might rise that we could have fellowship and communion with the God of the living, and freely worship Him in the here and the now, as well as in heaven. We were resurrected for one reason and one reason alone—so that we who are living could freely worship the God who is worshipped by living souls who worship Him with everything that is in them:
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowds of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thundering and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glade like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beasts had a face as a man, and the fourth beasts was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowds before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:1-11).
“And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look therein. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book neither to. Look therein. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribute of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard a voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lam that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:1-14).
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 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” (Revelation 7:9-17).