Q. I’m having a hard time understanding why so many people think that the multitude in Rev. 7:9 are new Christians killed sometime after the Rapture! I find two problems with this theory: First, it says in Rev. 20:4-5 that the martyred saints are given glorified bodies at that time, not way back in Chapter 7. Also, could there really be that many people coming to Christ ALL AT ONCE during such troublesome times, especially in light of the fact that God “sends a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”? Until someone can give me good Scriptural backing, I will stay convinced that we Christians are the multitude of Rev. 7:9.
A. There are several reasons why the martyrs of Rev. 7:9-17 can’t be the Church. Since they will arrive in Heaven so soon after the rapture they are most likely the spirits of people who will become believers after seeing their Christian friends and family disappear. They will remember that they were told the rapture would happen and why, and will become believers because of it.
They can’t be part of the church because of their destiny. The Church is described as kings and priests, but although John said these martyrs will serve God day and night in His Temple (Rev. 7:15) they are never called priests. Also there is no temple in the New Jerusalem where the Church will be (Rev. 21:22).
And finally, John said the martyrs who will be resurrected in Rev. 20:4 are those who will have been beheaded for refusing to take the mark of the beast. This doesn’t become a requirement until the Great Tribulation begins in Rev.13. The martyrs of Rev. 7 will be gone before then.