The Redeemed of the Earth

The Book of Revelation applies several terms to the saints who are being persecuted by the Devil and his earthly agents. They form a united company that transcends national, social, and cultural boundaries. What they have in common is their redemption by the “blood of the Lamb.” For his disciples, “tribulation” and persecution are not aberrations. Persevering through trials while bearing witness is what it means to follow the “Lamb wherever he goes.”

What sets this group apart is its composition of men from every “nation,” “people,” “tribe,” and “tongue.” They are a “Kingdom of Priests” sent by Jesus to mediate the light of his Gospel on the Earth.

Globe Map - Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash
[Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash]

This mission is presented in the opening paragraph of
Revelation. Jesus is the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth” because of his death and resurrection. His sacrifice has freed his people from their sins, therefore, they are his priestly kingdom sent to bear witness for him before the nations - (Exodus 19:4-6, Revelation 1:4-6, 5:10, 14:1-4).

The recipients of Revelation are identified as the “servants” of God and the “Seven Assemblies of Asia.” They are “fellow participants” with John in the “Tribulation and Kingdom and Perseverance in Jesus” for the “Testimony of Jesus” - (Revelation 1:8-9).

In Chapter 5, John sees a glorious figure seated on the “Throne” who holds the Sealed Scroll, but only the sacrificial “Lamb” is “worthy” to take and open it because “he was slain and redeemed for God by his blood men out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation, and made them a KINGDOM and PRIESTS to our God” - (Revelation 5:9-10).

The same category applied to the “Seven Assemblies of Asia” is applied to this vast multitude from every nation, also called the “Kingdom of Priests.” Though this company is larger than the seven marginalized congregations of Asia, it also includes them. They, too, are part of the priestly kingdom.

In Chapter 7, John “heard” the “number” of God’s “servants” who were “sealed,” twelve thousand males from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, or 144,000 men. However, when he looked, he “saw” the multitude that “no one could number out of every nation, and all tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the Throne and the Lamb.”

What John “sees” interprets what he “hears.” The “Innumerable Multitude” is identical to the 144,000 males from the “Twelve Tribes of Israel.” This is the same group of men purchased from “every nation” by the “blood of the Lamb” and made a “kingdom of priests” - (Revelation 5:9-10, 7:1-17).

In this way, Revelation transforms the image of the “Tribes of Israel” assembled around the Tabernacle into the “Innumerable Multitude” of men from every nation assembled in worship “before the Lamb and the Throne” - (Revelation 7:13-17, 21:1-6).


In Chapter 11, the “Two Witnesses” are called the “Two Lampstands,” and elsewhere, “lampstands” represent churches. When their prophetic ministry is finished, the “Beast that ascended from the Abyss waged war with them and overcame and killed them” – (Revelation 1:20).

However, the “Beast” cannot kill the “Two Witnesses” until he is authorized to do so, but their deaths will not mean defeat for the “Lamb” or his people. Their martyrdom is followed by the “Day of the Lord” and the consummation of the Kingdom of God when the “Seventh Trumpet” is heard. The wicked are judged but the faithful saints are vindicated - (Revelation 11:15-19).

In Chapter 12, Satan is expelled from Heaven. Enraged, he gathers his forces to “wage war against the Seed of the woman, those who have the testimony of Jesus.” But the “brethren” overcome the “Dragon” by the “word of their Testimony” – They are willing to suffer martyrdom for the Gospel - (Revelation 12:9-17).

In Chapter 13, the “Beast that ascends from the Sea” wages war on the “saints and overcomes them.” This is the same reality as the war against the “Two Witnesses” by the “Beast,” and the “war” of the “Dragon” on those who have the “Testimony of Jesus” - (Revelation 12:17, 13:1-10).

The “False Prophet” then uses impressive “signs” and economic control to cause all the “Inhabitants of the Earth” to take the mark of the “Beast.” In contrast, those who have been “redeemed from the Earth” by the “Lamb” stand with him on “Mount Zion.” Rather than the beastly mark, they have God’s name inscribed on their foreheads – (Revelation 13:11-18, 14:1-5).

Thus, Humanity falls into two groups. Those who are redeemed from every nation and follow the “Lamb,” and the “Inhabitants of the Earth” who take the “Mark of the Beast.” The names of the latter group are NOTwritten in the Lamb’s book of life,” they have NOT been “redeemed by his blood” - (Revelation 13:15-18, 14:1-5).

In contrast to the “Inhabitants of the Earth,” the faithful saints who follow Jesus “overcome” the “Dragon” by persevering through whatever the Devil inflicts on them while maintaining the “Testimony of Jesus.” Perseverance through persecution is the “endurance of the saints” – (Revelation 14:12).

Desert Stars - Photo by Jesse Sewell on Unsplash
[Photo by Jesse Sewell on Unsplash]

From start to finish, the focus of
Revelation is on the Church composed of men and women who have been “loosed from their sins” by the sacrificial death of Jesus.  Though different terms and images are applied to the redeemed, in each case, the same group is in view.

The terms used for the Church in Revelation are derived from the story of Israel, only now they are applied to the followers of the “Lamb” from every nation. What sets them apart is their “redemption by the blood of the Lamb,” not their nationality or biological connection to Israel, and the task assigned to them by Jesus as his priestly company to bear witness before the nations of the Earth.

  • The Reign of the Saints - (During the Thousand Years, Satan is imprisoned, and the victorious saints reign as priests)
  • Martyrs and Overcomers - (Beginning with Jesus of Nazareth and his martyrdom on Calvary, his followers are summoned to persevere in his Testimony)
  • Absent Church? - (The church is not removed from the Earth following Chapter 3 of the Book of Revelation)



Second Trumpet

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