"These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."
And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad, 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh, 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar, 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice,
“Salvation belongs to our God Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?”
I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple; and He who sits on the throne will shelter them with His presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.
Seeing the crowds, [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be Comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive Mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for Righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
*Transcript was edited for readability.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The sermon text for this All Saints Day, the holy Evangelist St. Matthew the Fifth Chapter:
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
In Jesus first sermon, publicly, the clouds part for the Church of God, and we see through the eyes of faith, into the very heaven where the Christ stands, or sits, upon his throne with angels and archangels all around, and those who have died in Christ pictured there in white robes with palm branches in their hands, crying out salvation belongs unto the Lamb.
Do you recognize what a gift it is for you, in Christ's Church, to have the clouds part this day, and every day, in knowing that Christ Jesus opens the heavens to those whom you love who have died with faith in Him?
So many outside of these walls do not have the same beautiful hope of a glorious reunion around the Christ with those they love. Day to day they mourn, and they wail, and they cry, and they wonder why a life is worth living anymore. But it's not so for all of you on this All Saints Day, who hear the voice of your Lord as he takes you aside he reminds you once more, blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
They're not nameless faces around the throne of God, this great cloud of witnesses, that surround us, and point us to Christ, encouraging us in Christian faith, in life, they're not nameless faces. But instead they're your husband's, they're your wives, they're your children, they're brothers and sisters in Christ, grandpas and grandmas. If you have flesh and blood you're surely numbered among those who are mourning, in this life, for those who have died, but there will be a glorious reunion for all who hope in Christ.
So, you think well this day, you do well this day, to remember them, that they might encourage you in Christian living, that they might encourage you to keep on trusting in Jesus, no matter how hopeless the day might seem. That you might not be forever without them but instead that you might be forever with them, and with Christ who died for them, died for you, who rose triumphant from the grave, glorified in body that on that great day they too might rise, and we with them, to be together again with the Christ.
They encourage us, if they died in Christ Jesus they encourage us. Regardless of our doubts, to keep the course, to be faithful and gathering together around the word of Jesus, to continue fighting against our flesh, to continue struggling with the faith, to continue forgiving one another, to continue hoping in Jesus to make all things new, and to wipe away our tears. If they died in Christ they encourage us this day in Christian things. To keep on, even though we grow weary. That we might run the race well and finish at last, have the victors crown of gold, and them again by our sides thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ who makes it so.
On All Saints Day, the church offers to the world an open heaven, not a life that fades away and a body that aches all the more as you go, with better days in the past, and worse in the future. No, on All Saints Day, the church offers to the world the great hope of the Christian Church from the voice of our Savior, who takes us aside and says things such as blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The world has no such glorious hope and the church can do better than opening up their trunks to give out candy, we should not be known in this way. Perhaps you noticed this week, at least around my house I counted five churches that were pouring much time, and effort, and energy, into welcoming the community into their parking lots for trunk-or-treat. We should be known for more profound things, for more glorious comfort. We should be known as ushering this world into the place of Jesus and the Saints, opening heaven over their despondent lives and parting the clouds through the gospel. We should be known for this day, All Saints Day, when Jesus declares loudly, with angels trumpeting alongside of him, blessed are you who are poor in spirit, yours is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you who mourn for you shall be comforted by God himself.
I consider people who can evaluate me to be a great gift. Perhaps you have these people in your lives, who have the ability to look you in the face and speak sincerely sometimes, so much so, that it makes you uncomfortable. That they're looking you in the eye and they're taking you aside and they're telling you different things that you don't notice about yourself. A certain man in our life is very good at it, Reverend Joseph Brennan was very good at it, looking you in the face and telling you sincerely what he thinks of you, and the various gifts that you have. They say you know you're really blessed, you should really be the so thankful to God because he's given so greatly to you in this way, or that way, and maybe like me you've forgotten about those gifts of God that have been given to you, and when someone from the outside, evaluating you, speaks to you, sincerely, how blessed you are by the Father in heaven who loves you, it causes you to pause, maybe gives you reason to repent, and to rejoice of the gifts that you indeed have, that you've forgotten or you take for granted.
All Saints Day is like that, but the one who speaks sincerely to you is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. And he would roll over you words concerning the kingdom of heaven, and he would roll over you blessings given from his hand, and through his voice to your ear. So this he is says in one of his very first preachings, blessed are you who mourn, for you shall be comforted.
Consider today, you in your tears for those you love, that Jesus is evaluating your life, and Jesus is evaluating your person, and whether you recognize your blessings or whether you don't, the Lord Jesus is saying, in your ear, you are greatly blessed, yours is the kingdom of heaven. You are greatly blessed. The Lord Jesus himself has bared is arm and taken up your cause. You are greatly blessed, you will stand again, by faith, in the great resurrection of the dead, with those who have died in Christ. Jesus sees what you may forget, about the very gifts that he has given to you, and he speaks with all sincerity and truth, evaluating your life, even in the midst of hardship, and persecution, and trouble, and the rejection of the world, and the daily grind, Jesus to you, blessed are you, yours is the kingdom of heaven.
They are there around the throne, Christ is with them. We are here in this life being beckoned to join them, and Christ is with us. They are there in heaven with the Lord Jesus and we are here on earth with the Lord Jesus. He feeds to us the very victory food, or meal, his body and blood, and on this side of life we are with them in the Christ on that side of life, and if we follow their encouragement, their voice, and if we try all the more, encouraged and strengthened by their witness, and the speaking of Jesus, we will soon be where they are, in glory of forevermore.
All Saints Day, the cloud parts with the voice of Jesus. We see clearly where they are, where we shall be. We have this most glorious place prepared for us and we are encouraged on the path. Be strengthened for their sake, be strengthened for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, be comforted in your tears, you shall soon join them for Jesus who has conquered in the fight.