Q. In Rev Chapter 7 verse it talks of the “great multitude that can’t be numbered. Earlier in the book it mentions the angels, beasts and elders who numbered 10,000 times 10,000 and thousands and thousands. This comes out to be more than 1000,000,000, and they are numbered so this “great multitude” must far exceed that number. Also the martyrs are already mentioned in the 5th seal. So who are these great multitudes?
Since they all show up here at this point in time they can’t all be the tribulation saints, or can they? It seems to me that the tribulation saints will come in throughout the tribulation period. They can’t be the martyrs they have already been spoken of. So who are these?
A. The group mentioned in Rev. 5:11 are angels who have joined the raptured Church in praising God. In Rev. 7:14 when the angel told John who the arriving multitude is he said, “These are they who have come out of the Great Tribulation”. The Greek word for “out of” means out of both the time and place, so this group consists of the spirits of believers who will have died between the rapture and the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
I’ve been told that in John’s day the largest number they used was 10,000, so a multitude no man could count only had to be a group numbering larger than 10,000. (Notice that in Rev. 5:11 John said the angels numbered thousands upon thousands and 10,000 times 10,000 instead of stating the actual number.) Both groups were too large to count, but the group in Rev. 5 composed of the church and the angels was much bigger than the group of martyrs from Rev. 7.
The martyrs under the altar (Rev. 6:10-11) must be from the Old Testament, since Church age martyrs will have been resurrected at the Rapture.